But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream Amos 5:24
This is hard. As I sit to write today’s reflection, I don’t know where to start- yet I feel that I need to. Our beloved nation faces daunting problems everywhere we turn. The COVID-19 crisis has wrecked health and the economy. Now, the incredible public viewing of the death of an African-American young man- another one- has revulsed the nation.
Cries for justice fill the air, and rightly so. The Minneapolis police officer who did this act was recently charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter. Some say that this is not a high enough charge for the heinous act, however, prosecutors are tasked with bringing a charge that is likely to bring conviction. Even if the officer is convicted, however, will that bring justice?
Once you have seen a video like we saw on the death of George Floyd, you cannot “unsee” it, as much as we would like to. It stands as the latest example of brutality in an American history of it toward African-Americans.
The vast majority of America’s police officers are dedicated, caring people who daily risk their lives in trying to bring peace and order to their community. Some of them fail.
Those who have gone to the streets in protest have reason for anger. The long history of racism in America stands as a running thread that defies our ability to provide true justice.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. often used the quote from the book of Amos about justice.
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
The preceding words to that verse describe how God sees justice. God does not care for religious ceremonies, songs of praise, offerings, or other trappings of worship.
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream
If we fail to provide justice to people, those who are oppressed and marginalized, God does not care for anything else we have to say.
Prayer: Lord, help us to seek justice. Help us to see people how you see them, Amen