Put God’s saving justice first, says Jesus (Matthew 6:33). It is a direct instruction for all would-be followers. God’s saving justice is to be marked by communities of people living lovingly and joyfully, offering their witness in perseverance and hope for a new creation.
To live in such a way is to invite the attention of both the weak and the powerful. The weak will look for the fruits of justice; the powerful will seek to destroy through betrayal, false accusation, oppression, persecution, and ultimately annihilation. The just will have at their disposal only the resources of love, faith, and hope, informed by prayer and a longing for justice to prevail—and of course the wonderment and joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, whose witness God vindicated. This is the victory that overcomes the world!
Psalm 98; Acts 10:44-48; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the supreme moment of wonderment and joy in history, when God has "made known his saving power" and "revealed his saving justice for all the world to see," as the psalmist writes. Love is the energy of God’s justice, and joy is its mark. Such love and joy should be the mark of our worship and witness. Sadly, radical witness and the struggle for justice are often marred by a lack of love, of joy, of rejoicing in the gifts of God in creation. Joy marks creation’s response to God.