Tag Archives: justice

Peace and Social Justice, Part Two

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, June 15, 2016

act, do, walk

Peace and Social Justice, Part Two

Yesterday evening’s panel discussion at the Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove was a wonderful opportunity to gather together and share insights into different faith streams. Yet, five similar viewpoints on Social Justice. How each of these faith streams—forms of spirituality—religions—has an impact on society and the outworking of kindness, mercy and justice.

As someone invited to be the representative of the Christian point of view, I had specific understandings of Social Justice (from my faith stream). I was fascinated to see how much overlap there was between all five forms of spirituality.

This goes to show how much diverse people of different ethnicities, various cultures, and widely scattered nationalities all around the world have so much in common. All faiths seek to better society, whether in small ways or large, whether dealing with one person or many.

I do not mean to be political. Jesus did His best to steer clear of politics. I really strive to follow His excellent example. I quote from my remarks made yesterday. “Different rabbis or teachers had different opinions on what was the greatest of all commands. Some of these teachers wanted to know what Jesus considered the “most important” of the laws in the Mosaic law code, which was (and is) the official Jewish rule book.

“In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, Jesus does not name one of the “big 10,” the Ten Commandments. Instead, He responds with the Shema. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” from Deuteronomy 6:5-6.

“Jesus does not stop there! No, He makes another definitive statement. “31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Did you follow that? Jesus made “the greatest command” into a two-part command.

“Love God, love others. Two sides of the same coin.

“’When we hear these words, we know that we are close to the center of Christianity, that we are close to the heart of God. The cross of Christ, the most important symbol of the Christian faith, has two dimensions: a vertical love to God and a horizontal love towards our neighbors.” [1]

“The simplicity, truth and wisdom of love is at the heart of the Good News of God, the message of Social Justice. Think about it. If we truly love, what else is necessary?”


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] ·  “The Hinge, The Two Great Commandments,” Gospel Analysis, Sermons from Seattle, Pastor Edward F. Markquart, Grace Lutheran Church, Seattle, Washington.

PEACE: Justice, Freedom, and Getting Along

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, May 28, 2016


PEACE: Justice, Freedom, and Getting Along

I continue a series of posts from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (Again, a big thank you to Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal!)

I feature two personal definitions of PEACE per day. This was a wonderful chance to talk with young people and get their viewpoints on PEACE.

First, Gianni’s definition: “Peace is justice and freedom between everyone. No matter what color or race we are, we still have equality.”

Next, Franklin’s definition: “Peace is having no war, and people getting along.”

I was impressed by both definitions. Excellent. Young people have such innovative ideas.

Gianni highlighted equality, no matter what color or race anyone is. Gianni, you are mirroring what you see each and every day in your classes, walking the halls at Gemini School. This school has such rich diversity! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Chicago suburb of Niles is the most diverse—culturally, ethnically, and in every other way—of any suburb in the state of Illinois. What a wonderful viewpoint to have. What an open and welcoming lens through which to view the world, too!

Franklin gave a two-part definition: no war, and getting along. If I consider the first part, “having no war,” that only means no active fighting (or killing). Yes, that is so important! If only that was a more widespread sentiment, Franklin …

However, this young man went one step further with his personal definition: “people getting along.” This part of Franklin’s definition goes hand in hand with Gianni’s view. No matter what the differences are between individuals (or between groups of people), Franklin wants to promote peace.

Now, we need to think of some simple yet creative ways to accomplish these things! God willing, perhaps one of these young people will lead us all towards peace. Cessation of hostilities. Justice, and freedom. What a way to #PursuePEACE.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice (Repost)

This repost is a wonderful reminder that PEACE is multi-faceted. God, help us all to #PursuePEACE in whatever way we are able.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 29, 2016


shalom butterflies light love

PEACE, Best Achieved Alongside of Justice

As I continue to ask people for their personal definition of PEACE, I am intrigued by the ones who have to think hard about the word or phrase they choose. Sometimes, taking a good deal of time for the answer. I am equally interested in the ones who immediately know what their definition is going to be.

Continuing the listening tour. I am traveling around in my efforts to pursue PEACE.

My friend and colleague from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rev. Joe McInnis, invited me to attend the church he pastors, in Wilmette, Illinois. One of his parishioners knew immediately what his personal definition was, and he told me so!

An older man of definite ideas and opinions, his name is Peter Knobel. He told me PEACE is best achieved alongside of justice.

I told him how deep that point of view was! I asked him to elaborate. He said, “People sometimes associate peace with power and victory. A different vector of peace is alongside of justice. Like in South Africa, where for years they had a reconciliation and peace movement.” Peter considers peace and justice as closely connected. In his view, peace is best achieved using just and equitable means.

Peter’s words inspired me to think deeply. Yes, peace is an important concept. Yet, peace is out of reach for many people, throughout the world, especially in places of dissention, fighting and outright warfare. When Peter mentioned South Africa, I remembered several personal accounts I both read and heard of the troubles in South Africa.

Many people did not experience peace. Many people had horrible things happen to them, to their relatives and comrades, and to their homes and all they held dear. We cannot just wallpaper over those horrible, gut-wrenching, intensely agonizing events.

Yes, hurting people hurt people. Yes, hurting people need to be offered the place and the space to express that hurt, that pain, that anguish, that anger. And, yes. Hurting people can travel through their pain, through the muck and the mire, and come out the other side. Hurting people can journey the path of victim—through the possibility of justice, and out on the other side. They can identify as survivors. Finally—they can start that journey towards peace. Peacefulness. All because of justice.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er