“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24).
Justice and mercy are the tangible expressions of loving our neighbors as God has loved us. They are the ways that we live like Jesus here and now, affirming the goodness of God’s image in others and anticipating the overflowing shalom—peace and flourishing—that characterizes God’s coming kingdom.
Rhythms of Justice and Mercy
by Chris Schoon
True confession: I lack rhythm. Somewhere between what my ears hear and how my hands clap, my feet tap, and the rest of my body moves, the beat gets distorted. It’s like watching a video with delayed, out-of-sync audio. Nothing lines up the way it’s supposed to.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t try. In fact, I love listening to music, singing along (admittedly, out of tune), and dancing around the house. I’ll randomly tap out patterns on a table or on my laptop when I’m thinking, and I occasionally pick up my son’s guitar and attempt to strum a few disconnected chords. Simply put, I make a joyful noise. Though I am not a musician, music is still one of the ways that I engage with the world around me. I can even say that music forms me.
Perhaps the rhythm that I find most challenging and most important, however, is God’s heartbeat for justice and mercy. It doesn’t come naturally to me. God’s love for people who have been marginalized, discarded, and taken advantage of reverberates throughout the Bible: