In recent days, our national media has been consumed by conversations of justice, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. Fathers choked to death and children shot, all under the guise of a fair, equitable, and just legal system.
I do not pretend to know the plight of my black brothers and sisters. I am a white, protestant male who lives in a city that was home to the last public lynching in the northern U.S. I cannot know their suffering. I cannot know what it means to fear for my life every time I see a police officer. I cannot know what it means to be denied access to the court system to pursue justice. I cannot know what it means to live life without my inherent privilege because of the color of my skin.
What I do know is this: today, Christ weeps with the families of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown. He repeats His words from Matthew 25, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” He mourns the destruction of life—any life, but especially the lives of the downtrodden and oppressed.
In the season of Advent, we are asked to remember Christ who makes all things new. He accomplishes that re-creation through our hands and feet. Pray for justice, yes. But it’s just as important that we work for justice. That we stand up against oppressive structures. That we break down the prejudices in our own hearts and minds. That we do more than just hope things get better and make it so.