The Bible places equal emphasis on both mercy and justice. The ancient prophet Micah succinctly summarizes God’s design: “He has told you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord desires of you—that you love mercy and do justice and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Twinned together these commands lead us to holistic involvement. Divorced they become deformed. Mercy without justice degenerates into dependency and entitlement, preserving the power of the giver over the recipient. Justice without mercy grows cold and impersonal, more concerned about rights than relationships.
God has responded justly and lovingly to overcome evil and to remedy the ills and death resulting from our sinfulness. So justice and love are still interdependent and mutually reinforcing, as God shapes and pursues them in and through our lives.
We see this most clearly and concretely in Jesus on the cross. There both God’s hatred for sin and His care for the world come together – they “meet and agree” – in judgement and salvation. In suffering for us, Jesus holds together God’s justice and God’s love for us.
The prophet Micah continued with:
“Who is a God like you, who forgives wickedness and passes over the rebellious acts of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He constantly delights in Mercy and loving kindness. He shall again have compassion on us; he will subdue and tread underfoot our wickedness [destroying sin’s power]. Yes, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)
choreographed by a Masterworks Alumni, Melina Giesbrecht
This piece is based on Psalm 137, where the Israelites are crying out to God to restore them and bring their captors to justice. It speaks about the harp, which represents the praise of the Levites, being relinquished as they cease to worship because of their anguish. As the piece builds, we see the theme of praise take over, as they choose to come before the Lord and worship him regardless of circumstance.
“We hung our harps on the willow trees
Still the wind formed hands and plucked out melodies
Our hearts rejoiced as if it were a dream
When the seeds of our tears became a field of wheat
Look what he’s done for us
he turned this song-less night into a symphony of praise”
My God, My God
choreographed by Masterworks staff, Kristie Enns
This piece is meant to explore the idea of lament. As you watch, think about times in your life where you’ve felt that God has abandoned you – when you feel there is no hope of justice or rescue. Sometimes all we can see is shadows, and yet we want to remain faithful to God and our faith journey. Even though we can’t see it, we trust that God is working behind the shadows.