In the days when the prophet Micah was telling people about God’s desires for Israel, the social systems were a little less participatory than they are now. Basically, kings and landowners made decisions, and everybody else had to live with it. God was the overarching authority, though, demanding that rulers use power for the good of the powerless, not just their own enrichment.
But even though there are a lot of differences between then and now, (would the prophet Micah have a blog now?) some things stay the same: there are people on the margins of society and people in the centers of power, and God calls Christians to work for fairness, sharing, and justice.
In fact, Jesus’ message about the realm of God stand that power equation on its head. If you wish to be the greatest person, Jesus teaches, you must be servant to all. The search for justice, then, is a search for a world where power is used wisely – for the benefit of all – and where we recognize that true power in God’s vision for the world will sometimes flip the world we think we know upside down.
For six:eight, our commitment to justice is expressed in our work together on behalf of people in need and on behalf of the environment. In 2013, for example, we encouraged our denomination, the United Church of Christ, to speak up for Appalachian communities, for the health and well-being of people across the Eastern seaboard, and for the Appalachian mountains themselves to condemn the devastating practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. Read the story here.
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously. “
Micah 6:8 – The Message translation