The teaching of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament is built squarely on the Old Testament vision of the history of the people of God, the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Wisdom literature. All these include justice as a non-negotiable essential feature of what pleases God and what he requires of his people.
What “justice” means in the Bible is giving a voice to the poor and marginalized (Proverbs 31:8–9), ensuring a place at the family table for the lowliest and least of God’s people. The prophets speak up urgently for economic justice, and the Law makes provision for “sheltering the shorn lamb from the wind”.
Since the ordering of society is the theme of the Law and the Prophets, it is hard to see how Christianity can ever realistically be expressed apolitically.
Citizenship and social responsibility are integral to faithful discipleship, the big picture outworking of Christ’s command that we should love one another.
It has been said that dependence on aid from overseas undermines the ability of the poor to get on their feet. In what way do you think we can best encourage, strengthen, and assist those trapped in poverty in our own country, and overseas? How would you advise people struggling with debt?
Who would you identify as marginalized groups in our country? What strategies might we employ to help them?
Apart from politics in the usual sense, in what ways might we seek to encourage social justice? Can consumer choices make a difference? Are the friendly links formed through sport helpful? What can we do to foster fairness, kindness, and responsibility in our society?
O God of justice, Father of the poor, defender of the helpless and oppressed, show us how to live in faithfulness to your word in Scripture and in ways that bring honour to your name. Give us the humility to listen well and observe closely, the discernment to understand the implications of emerging social trends, the courage to stand up for what is right when necessary, and peaceful hearts that never seek a battle when gentleness will suffice to bring about change. This we ask in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; Amen.