Zechariah 7:8 – 14
This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” Verse 9 (NIV)
The Evangelical Missionary Church began a work in El Salvador to replace homes destroyed by an earthquake. That led to more homes being provided for those living in unsafe shelters. In time a group of people who had been doing this work took over the task and all the related work. They call themselves Shelter. Jim, who heads up the group always references this verse as his motivation for doing the work.
God calls us, as a matter of worship, to act justly in our day-to-day lives, not being swayed by who has power and who does not. We honour God by showing not only impartial justice but also mercy and compassion. God himself clarifies that we are to seek justice for those who are not socially powerful – the single mother, foster children, immigrants, the poor. God declares, in effect, through Zechariah: “I don’t even want your worship if you are taking advantage of and not defending the weakest among you. You’re worshipping only to make yourselves feel better, not to honour me.”
Those are strong words. The suffering of people in another neighbourhood – much less others around the globe – can be invisible. Enacting justice and showing mercy require us to care for our brothers and sisters, to our neighbours and those far away. Ask God to show you ways to care for the marginalised. What acts of mercy are you doing for your family and community?
Lord, help us to show mercy, and make us lovers of justice, so that we can make an impact in this world for you. Amen.