EDITOR’S NOTE: “Justice looks like …” is a special series in the Voices column. Readers will have the opportunity to consider justice from numerous viewpoints. The series is based on each writer’s understanding of Scripture and relationship with Jesus Christ. Writers present their own views independent of any institution, unless otherwise noted in their bios.
You are encouraged to listen to each writer without prejudgment. Then, engage in conversation with others around you about what justice looks like to you.
For me, justice looks like a divine invitation from God to join in the coming of God’s reign here on Earth. In the introduction to this series, Eric Black invited us to see justice as “central to God’s character and God’s interaction with the world.” Furthermore, Black affirms: “When creation is unjust, the Creator will make sure justice is accomplished.”
As part of God’s attributes, justice is one of the standards God has set before us as human beings. In his book Introducing Christian Doctrine, theologian Millard Erickson highlights: “God expects his followers to emulate his righteousness and justice. We are to adopt as our standard his law and precepts. We are to treat others fairly and justly because that is what God himself does.”
While it is true justice is more than an invitation—it is God’s requirement for our lives (Micah 6:8)—I like to see it as an invitation. God does not force us to be just, but gives us an opportunity to choose to do the right thing.
It is an invitation to join our Creator, as Black mentioned, in making sure justice is accomplished. If accepted, this invitation will get us closer to fulfilling our purpose of giving glory to God.
Gifted to enact justice
As we are invited to join God in this project of building God’s reign here on earth, we are not invited empty-handed. The Holy Spirit, based on God’s will and his own choosing, has graced us with different gifts (1 Corinthians 12:11,18). Often, these gifts are correlated with the areas of passion God has placed in our hearts.
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Together, these gifts and areas of passion are part of God’s invitation to join in a particular area of God’s concern where justice needs to be accomplished.
In my particular case, the Holy Spirit has graced me with the gift of teaching through spoken and written words. I have spent more than 25 years encouraging students, especially minority ones, to open their imaginations to a broader and richer future through the wonderful world of knowledge and education.
At Baptist University of the Américas, I have encouraged them to believe they can finish college and continue to graduate school. I have been teaching at BUA for 20 years, long enough to have the blessing of witnessing the success of former students as they graduate with their masters and doctorates.
My hope is these former students, in turn, will continue encouraging other minority students in such a way that God’s justice is accomplished in our communities.
Another area where God has invited me to join in this project of accomplishing justice is the one of women’s issues. The fact I am a Latina woman with a doctorate opens the imagination of minority women and encourages them to study and obtain the highest academic degrees. As they see me, they may think: “If she, as a Latina, was able to do it, I can do it, too.”
Additionally, God has invited me to join in this task of accomplishing justice through the work of the Christian Latina Leadership Institute, where the goal is to train women in leadership issues—personal and professional/ministerial—in order to become agents of transformation in their families, churches and communities. As they become agents of transformation, they also join in God’s project of accomplishing justice in their communities.
To think God invites me every day to join in accomplishing God’s justice and developing the Reign here on earth is a privilege, a responsibility and a joy.
You’re invited, too
In the same way, God also is inviting you to join in this project of accomplishing justice and developing the Reign.
What are your areas of passion? What are your gifts? Whatever they are, God has given them to you with the purpose of inviting you to join in a particular area where justice needs to be accomplished.
Today there are so many areas where justice is needed. Let’s listen to God’s invitation. Let’s find our place in the service of God’s reign. Let’s bring honor and glory to God through just and right actions.
Dr. Nora O. Lozano is professor of theological studies at Baptist University of the Américas and executive director of the Christian Latina Leadership Institute in San Antonio, Texas. The views expressed are those solely of the author.
Click here to read the full “Justice looks like…” series.