STRIVE for Justice and Peace In All The EarthAnd what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8b NRSV)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9 NRSV)
"Along with all citizens, Christians and others have the responsibility to defend human rights and to work for freedom, justice, peace, environmental well being and good order." (ELCA Social Statement, The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, 1991, page 5).
We celebrate the abundant blessings that are a part of this world. But we also walk in the struggle of human existence where we face our own sin, our self-centeredness, and the collective sin of human institutions, for example, the church, governments, the nations. In this struggle however, we meet the suffering God who bears the sins of the world and sends us out, as ones who are joined in the crucified Christ and in his solidarity with the pain of the world. As believers in Christ we are called to be about the work of justice in our personal and public life. We recognize that God's justice is something deeper and purer than our own best understanding of justice. And yet, we are called to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves.
We speak the truth in love as we participate in God's mission of abundant life for all. With a deep awareness of our sinfulness and the sin of our society, with humility we speak with respect and promote change. And God calls us to speak out. An enemy of justice is silence. A justice mindset is one key way we practice our faith. A mindset and a heart filled with peace is faith in practice. Practicing our faith is something that we may never master. We always have more to learn. The focus of our practice is our gracious God, not the practices in themselves. Our faith practices are always an offering of response to our gracious God. May God work on you as you practice your faith in the midst of life in God's church and God's world.
As we seek justice and peace in all the earth we:
- Pray for peace among nations and peoples
- Host an after-school, summer or weekend feeding program for children and families
- Begin a "Go Green" Initiative in your congregation and community www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org
- Forgive as we have been forgiven by God
- Organize a community march against family violence
- Challenge the systems that perpetuate poverty
- Contact the ELCA Advocacy Office about joining with other Lutherans to speak to public officials about the difference your congregational ministries make in your community
- Sign up for the ELCA Advocacy Network to receive information and other alerts
- Love all of humanity, respecting everyone, and seeing differences as a gift from God