Worship is God’s language and sometimes it is foreign to us.
I am reminded again and again, that the call to biblical justice is a call that is after God’s own heart and it is a call that makes each of us credible witnesses of the whole gospel. Pursing biblical justice means that we have been redeemed and that we are being transformed to see as God sees, name as God names, and act in righteousness as God would. Most importantly, pursuing biblical justice is a call to live loved and when we do not respond to others as God would, it is evident that our love tank is deficient.
“The social realities of injustice are an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible lie…Our failure to love God and our neighbor means we can cultivate passivity toward injustice. We begin with the loves we have at hand, loves far smaller, far more manageable and far more prejudiced when we are defining reality our way rather than God’s. We foster the well-being of ourselves and those we love, and we let go of the let rest (196).”
We choose to love those most deeply who have the ability and willingness to reciprocate our love. Sometimes we love halfheartedly. At other times, we ignore and simply choose to not love at all. Our love tank is deficient indeed. We do not love unconditionally as God loves and at least we need to be honest about that. Only the truth can set us free to the transformation that is needed to turn each of us from lukewarm to hot in our passionate pursuit of justice. Jesus has all power to turn our passivity into full drive. A divine encounter with him gives us a clearer focus concerning the other-centered lives we are called to live in him. This call is a continuous act of worship.
“Worship—waking up to life in God in Christ for the world—is the Bible’s word for what should expose our heart’s complicity with injustice and motivated our transformation to live differently (197).”
“Worship exposes the distortions of personal and societal sin that undergird all injustice. Worship recasts and humbles all forms of human power, which are key to what subverts human relationships and well-being. Worship delivers us from the need to make our neighbors in our image rather than to see and value them as already made in the image of God (202).”
Worship humbles us to see God’s heart more clearly, see ourselves more accurately, and love our neighbors more sincerely. The reality is, “the taxonomy of God’s heart is a foreign language for us all. No one is native speaker. We all have the capacity, but it will be harder for some. We have to want to learn. We have to believe that it is needed and worthwhile, a sufficient language for life (204).” It is worthwhile to learn God’s language and hear his heartbeat. May we faithfully pursue this act of worship.
Reflection: To develop a heart like God’s requires exercise. We have to give and use our heart muscle to grow in capacity and endurance. We have to give ourselves beyond ourselves. What sustained relationship or commitment of love to a marginalized, poor or vulnerable person are you or could you be committed to in this way? What will you do? Who might be your exercise partner (198)?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013
Catch Up on the Discussion:
Introduction: Dangerous Act and a Heart Like the Grinch
Chapter 1: Stop Rubbernecking, It’s Dangerous
Chapter 2: WE See No Evil
Chapter 3: Injustice and the Problem of Misperceiving
Chapter 4: Learning to See
Chapter 5: Looking in the Mirror
Chapter 6: God Help Us
Chapter 7: Choosing to Name
Chapter 8: Why Naming Matters
Chapter 9: The Power of a Name
Chapter 10: Distorted Names
Chapter 11: Changing Names
Chapter 12: Living and Bankrupt
Chapter 13: Hoarding the Grace of God
Chapter 14: When Comfort Blinds