"He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”
Psalms 33:5 ESV
The Lord loves justice.
One of the beautiful and convicting realizations that comes from this simple statement is how inseparable justice is from a right understanding of God and His purposes. Imagine for a moment that you were to describe the nature of God - how would you begin? Would you start with His love? His power? His work as Creator and Redeemer?
Here’s how the Lord describes himself:
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”
Deuteronomy 10:17-19 ESV
Certainly learning is important, as is putting action to our intent. But I would suggest that when we see “doing justice” as merely a task assigned to us, we miss its deeper place in our worship. We forget to love. We see the need, and miss the beauty. And so we stop short; we withdraw; the gap between what we know we should do and the things we love grows wider and deeper.
It doesn’t have to be this way. What if we recognized the act of doing justice, not simply as an act of obedience, but as a means of grace? What if by orienting our days and our habits rightly, we could actually cultivate a deep love for justice? What if our calling is to discover the Lord already at work doing justice and—as we align our actions with His—to find our hearts transformed?
In worship we don’t just come to show God our devotion and give Him our praise; we are called to worship because in this encounter God (re)makes and moulds us top-down. Worship is the arena in which God recalibrate our hearts, reforms our desires, and rehabituates our loves. Worship isn’t just something we do; it is where God does something to us. … The liturgy of Christian worship is the litany of love we pray over and over again, given to us by the Spirit precisely in order to cultivate the love he sheds abroad in our hearts.
James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
How can you begin to see doing justice as formative worship? Where can you build into your life the practices of doing justice, inviting the Lord to model your loves and desires after His own?