“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…I will feed them with justice.” -Ezekiel 34:16
Dear Saints, When we name the things for which we are grateful, our lists are long. We don’t always take time to acknowledge our gratitude, but when we do, it becomes abundantly clear that we have much for which to be grateful. This year has shed a new light on the meaning of gratitude. For many of us, we no longer take for granted the simple things we have: our lives, our health, our families, and the ability to make ends meet.
In our Thanksgiving lists this year, however, it would be rare for anyone to include God’s justice. God’s blessings, perhaps – God’s comfort and guidance, maybe – but God’s justice? Likely not. God’s justice is so closely tied in with God’s judgement, that we may shy away from thinking about how God’s justice has in store for us.
We read in Ezekiel 34 that God will gather his people like a shepherd gathers sheep and that he will “feed them with justice.” And according to this passage, justice looks like seeking out the lost, gathering the strayed, binding up the injured and strengthening the weak. Justice looks a lot like mercy, for those who have suffered or strayed.
Although secular systems of justice are built on equity and fair punishment, God’s justice is built on mercy, compassion and forgiveness. In God’s justice system, we do not get what we deserve. Instead, we are gifted mercy and compassion for the sake of God’s Son, who was given for our sake. The Lord is our God, and we are the sheep of his pasture. For this, and for God’s merciful justice, we should always give thanks!
+ Pastor Kris and Pastor Ginger +