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July 13, 2006


The Anglican bishop, Tom Wright (or N. T. Wright), often speaks about justice as "things being put to rights." This is so different than the kind of retributive punishment that many cultures take for justice. First and foremost it deals with relationships, but it also includes the kind of holistic restoration that shalom is all about. The "justice" we see in our court systems, or in the world in general, is not and will never be complete until God's kingdom comes in all its fullness.

Thanks for the post Linda. I agree that shalom "will never be complete until God's kingdom comes in all its fullness," but what is our responsibility? Is there as sense that shalom can come in part if not in whole? Some would say that peace will never come to our planet until Christ returns, thus there is nothing we can do to avoid the situation in the middle east (ironically, some welcome the present conflict as a necessary sign of Christ's return). Others would say that it is our job as agents of God's mission (missio dei) to usher in his shalom in every way possible. There are two basic options: do nothing, do something. I'd love to hear where others stand.

To do nothing is to deny the reality and power of Christ in this life and to ignore following Christ's example. To think that we can accomplish utopia on earth is to deny our need of Christ's ultimate and complete healing and to make ourselves gods.

Out of gratefulness for Christ's one-off act, we actively help him bring about shalom, although our actions may be sometimes not far from the eagerness of a 4-year-old helping mommy make dinner. We might make a fairly sizable mess, but it is also possible that we may be of some small help. Regardless of the outcome, it is ultimately pleasing to a parent who is delighted that the child is taking an interest in participating with her and learning from her an act that will bless all who partake.

Thanks for your insights, Tim...I enjoyed reading this. It made me miss being in school and digging deeper into my role as a believer, today, looking forward to Christ's return.

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