Something I have reflected on throughout Lent this year, is how Jesus' Resurrection informs our commitment to Economic Justice. I think I've arrived at the point where ultimately Resurrection is an articulation of Justice. Through Resurrection God embraces being present with slaves, servants, social outcasts, and more generally the poor. It is not new, or innovative to claim Jesus' death and resurrection is God's ultimate statement of love for the world; but it is still remarkably revolutionary. The radical love experienced through Resurrection is so powerful because of how countercultural it is. God reaffirms God's presence with the oppressed in and through the suffering of Jesus. The Resurrection turns the world on its head and cements God's interest in justice. The delicate dance between love, power, and justice was described by Martin Luther King Jr. in the following way:
"What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."
Jesus' life, death, and resurrection exemplify love and power intersecting to further God's push toward an inclusive society without exploitation. Resurrection has meaning beyond God giving up God's only son for our sake. It serves as inspiration for humanity to seek justice; publicly love and strive toward the ideals of Beloved Community.
Resurrection should inspire a sense of reordering. Embracing the Resurrection means opening one-self (or one's community) to the Spirit's transformative power to shape us into a new creation. Living into the resurrection means confronting habits that damage our communities. It means re-ordering priorities. It means consciously living into Jesus' mandate to Love God and Neighbor.
This Easter season I invite you to consider the following questions as we continue to reckon with wide social disparities in American life:
What power do I hold to advocate for others?
Where is power being exerted without love for others? Do I have any way to inject love into the figurative conversation?
Are my own consumption/investment habits furthering the suffering of others/myself either directly or indirectly?
How do my (or the church's) actions relate to living into the loving justice that emerges from God's claim of universal love and justice through Jesus' Resurrection?
Is God present in discourse around raising the minimum wage? Amazon workers unionizing? Universal Basic Income? Tax policy? Racial Reparations? Affordable Housing?
Where is God's radical love present in my life?
ENEJ Secretary, Co-chair of The Lectionary Project Committee