"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

global peace needs global justice

Last Sunday we celebrated our church's Patronal Festival. Whilst we were hearing about St Peter from the pulpit the children were making these lovely paper boats and learning that Peter was a humble fisherman when he was commissioned by Jesus.

Today in church we read a biblical passage from The Book of Amos that seemed far removed from Sunday's theme.

Amos was a prophet of the eighth century BC. He lived at a time when both Israel and Judah had military and political strength and the peoples thought that their wealth was a sign of God's blessing. But there were huge injustices; the rich lived in luxury and the poor were oppressed, idolatry was widespread and the legal system was corrupt.

What Amos came to tell the people was that far from being blessed by God, God was in fact angry with His people. "The Lord says this: I hate and despise your feasts, I take no pleasure in your solemn festivals...I reject your oblations...let me have no more of the din of your chanting..." (Amos 5, vv 21-23)This is strong stuff from a displeased God.

But the point is that displays of material wealth and power count for nothing in our worship unless our hearts are in the right place, and we truly not only love God, but love our neighbour as ourselves. Amos was saying that the people would only have a healthy society if they lived righteously and with justice for all. "Seek good and not evil," he says, "so that you may live, and that the Lord, God of hosts, will take pity on the remnant of Joseph" ... so that "justice (will) flow like water, and integrity like an unfailing stream." (Amos 5, v.14 and v. 24).

This message is as strong and relevant today as it was in the eighth century BC and it brought to my mind the mission of the present day Global Justice Movement, that calls for five justices: monetary, social, economic, environmental and peace - in fact an inclusive justice for all.

And without global justice there can be no global peace.

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