Editor's Comments - The Advent of Justice

 
 

[1] During the Advent season the Christian community approaches its celebration of God with us — the feast of Christmas — by reflecting on and preparing for the "second coming" of Christ the Judge. How do we get ready to face Christ the Judge? Assuming that Christ bases his judgment on what he deems just, one way to prepare would be to consider what he thinks justice is.

The Advent of Justice by Victor Thasiah

[2] My sense is that, according to Christ, justice consists of "treating persons with due respect for their worth."1 Nicholas Wolterstorff traces this view to the love of the Trinity. Out of love, the Father does justice to the worth of the Son as the Son does justice to the worth of Father, and the same goes for the relations between Spirit and Father and Son. Thus, Wolterstorff concludes, "God's doing of justice in human affairs reflects the justice internal to God's own life.... Accordingly, when we treat each other justly... [w]e mirror the inner life of the Trinity."2

[3] God's saving address (the gospel) communicates that in Christ God does justice to our created worth — the goodness of who and what we are — by redeeming us from ruin (Rm. 1:17). Such communication has the power to mortify (make dead) persons who degrade God, others, the environment, and even themselves and vivify (make alive) persons who do justice to the worth of God (for example, through worship), others, the environment, and themselves.

[4] The coming of Christ is the coming of justice. As we wait for Christ, we wait for justice. While we wait we pray, work, and hope for the day when justice will be done to God's worth (as voiced in the Lord's Prayer: "Hallowed be your name...") and to the respective worth of every person, creature, and community ("Your kingdom come..."). This work involves practicing attention, accompaniment, advocacy, and assistance in every sphere of injustice. This is a path of Advent. It is a response to, a preparation for, and a mediation of (when Spirit-imbued) the coming of Christ.

Victor Thasiah is the editor of Journal of Lutheran Ethics.

Endnotes

1. Nicholas Wolterstorff, "Is There Justice in the Trinity?" in Miroslav Wolf and Michael Welker (eds.), God's Life in Trinity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006) 185.

2. Ibid., 187.

 

 

© December 2010
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 10, Issue 12