Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
Reflection: Thus we believe there is an urgent need today for Presbyterians in the US to question the extent to which violence and injustice pervade our society and dominate our relations with one another and with other nations. Living in the world’s only superpower, spending more on the military than all other developed countries combined, and facing growing poverty at home, we suggest it is time for us to spend more time thinking through:
• our involvement in war, injustice, and environmental degradation;
• our participation in complicated structures of violence and oppression; and
• the purposes and costs of international policing and war in a highly interconnected world.
Question for discernment: As Christians, should we expect or encourage our political leaders to show mercy to our nation’s enemies?
Prayer: God of truth and justice, give us the ability to recognize when there is a log in our own eye, blinding us from seeing our nation’s actions as others see them. Remove whatever may obscure our vision so that we may see the world clearly. Forgive us for the ways we have wounded ourselves and others. Do not let us become the evil we deplore.