By Madeline Smith Kauffman, a sophomore social work major from Walnut Creek, Ohio
This week’s theme: Rejoicing in God’s Justice
Our contemporary national context reeks of injustice. Refugees and immigrants continue to be dehumanized in our country. Systemic poverty continues. Women still disproportionately suffer the weight of patriarchy. The basic human rights of LBGTQ+ people are denied. Racism persists, rearing its ugly head in various contexts.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the injustice. It’s easy to fall into thinking some variation of, “No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, change cannot happen.” It’s easy to feel despair when hard work towards justice does not come to fruition. I know these mind traps are easy to fall into, because for much of this semester, I fell into them. The injustice in this country weighed heavily on me.
Then, something changed several weeks ago. I had the immense privilege of attending Mennonite Church USA’s Women Doing Theology conference. The theme song of the conference was “My Soul Cries Out,” a song in the Sing the Story songbook of the Mennonite Church.
Repeatedly we sang:
My heart shall sing of the day you bring,
let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn.”
This song is an invitation to reframe our thinking about justice. We are invited to move forward from focusing on the devastating injustice in the world, and instead focus on the joy of the soon coming justice of God. It invites us to remember that oppression does not have the last word, instead, God’s mercy and justice will reign. This song invites us to renew ourselves in God’s promise to turn the world around, and that promise is embodied in God’s gift of Jesus Christ.
This season, let us give thanks for the birth of Jesus, the human embodiment of God’s justice. Let us rejoice in the knowledge that God is turning the world around.