“Social Justice” and “Mercy and Generosity”: parts 12 and 13 of “The Life of the Spirit.”
Will there be a “last judgment,” as described, for example, in Matthew 25? Probably not. But maybe Jesus was expressing a truth both timeless and urgent when he said that we who feast and play while the poor starve deserve unending torture. And maybe, as a George Fox can tell us, “nice” is the truly banal face of evil. But do we have ears to hear?
Sometimes, allowing the text to subside into silence, we hear the weak cry of Christ’s Lazarus who lies bleeding at our gate, and our hearts begin to crack, to break open.
The power of God is the nonviolent working of love which makes justice a reality. That power is “that which can be known of God in [us].” It is what the first Friends meant by “Christ.” To know Christ is, for Quakers, to know — to partake of, to live in and by — that power. “I told them that I lived in that life and power which takes away the occasion of all wars” — George Fox.