The second day of the Micah Global Triennial Consultation had as its theme Justice: Truth and Love. Without the declaration of the truth and demonstration of love there can be no justice. And without justice there cannot be peace and wellbeing; i.e. Shalom.
Dario Lopez, a Peruvian Pentecostal pastor, Made the very strong point that it is not possible to do justice and therefore establish shalom if we do not have integrity in our own lives both private and public.
Rene August, a Pastor from South Africa, spoke not so much about equality as justice as the force that brings people dignity. She proposed that the fight for justice is a long and difficult struggle, so we need to work together and inspire young people to be part of the fight.
In an excellent and extremely personal paper Joseph Nyumutera spoke of reconciliation in the context of Rwanda and the 1994 genocide. As a Hutu, he spoke of his struggle with hate. He spoke of the essential role of church in its work at a much deeper level of conversion, forgiveness, healing and love which leads to reconciliation. Shalom cannot be established without reconciliation.
Using the narrative if Jesus’ arrest, Ruth Padilla de Borst gave us the difficult challenge of exposing the violence towards those who are suffering. We follow the suffering God who is counter-cultural. The Sovereign Slain Lamb is a contradiction to all human culture. The Christian Individual and the church are called to follow Jesus in establishing Shalom by exposing violence and healing lIves.
Dario highlighted the importance of coherence in the private and private lives – this avoids schizophrenia. Rene called young people to front to say what their role is in the fight against injustice. Also her phrase “you are worth more than you produce.” Joseph explained that It is essential to find our own healing in order to be an agents of reconciliation. And also his idea that reconciliation is a prerequisite to shalom” was powerful. Ruth’s linking of Peter’s denial of Jesus and how Jesus had healed the High Priest’s Servant’s ear challenged us not to deny our relationship with those who are suffering the results of violence. She also gave 5 great practical Of what we do in the face of violence? Mourn, question and pray; put your sword away (Peter); make our bond public (I don’t know him); resist all justification and expression of violence and live as an alternative and prophetic community.
It was quite a challenging day!