When you start reading the Bible it is logical to start at the beginning. This is difficult for first-time readers because Genesis is really long.
In the beginning is the story of creation, everything seems great until humans fail to trust and obey God and He banishes them from His garden. You continue reading and find that there are a bunch of stories where humans fail to live up to God’s standards which makes life harder. In spite of all humanity’s failures we learn that God seems to care specifically for one family, Abraham’s family.
I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised. (Genesis 18:19) These are two important biblical words: Righteousness & Justice.
“Righteousness” can look like obedience to God, but it is also about treating others like they are made in the image of God. In other words, God wants his people to obey him, with the intention of loving others. Loving People.
“Justice” can be executing justice for something that someone did, but it can also refer to restorative justice, making sure that all humans are treated like God’s image-bearers. So God builds into the beginning this ideal that His people “The Church” would be marked by the way we do Righteousness and Justice. The way we Love People.
We all fail in reaching that ideal. Except Jesus! Jesus comes with a new way of life. He says it’s better to give than to receive, forgive others, love your enemies! Radical statements pointing us to righteousness and justice.
Jesus lives out righteousness and justice. He loves the sinner and He embraces the sick, the hurting, the outcast and the hopeless.
Jesus set the example for us, on how we are to deliver on His ideal of righteousness and justice. So what this means is that Righteouness & Justice in our world is a project perfectly suited for the people of God, because we have the perfect example of what loving others look like, Jesus. Let's do that church.