Law and Justice – May 2019
(By Lilian Schmid, reviewed by Prof. Michael Adams and Bjorn Schmid)
The Authority to Judge “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son . . . and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man . . . because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Jn. 5:22, 27; Acts 17:31).
Seek justice on behalf of others or help make the world a safer place. From criminology and terrorism to commercial law, investigate reasons that motivate people to commit crimes, assess rehabilitation or examine the criminal justice system.
Law and Social Justice
“Zechariah 7:9 and Micah 6:8 seem to be the interpretive grid by which Jesus understands the Law and the Prophets. In Matthew 23:23 he alludes to these two passages and calls them “the more weightier matters of the Law”. He has shown you O humanity, or historically demonstrated to you, what the Lord requires, do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God”.
Remembering that justice is not vengeance rather it is restoring what is right. Righteousness and justice share the same stem in both Greek and Hebrew. Justice is social righteousness and “justice is what love looks like in public,” says Cornel West.
It seems to me that if you were to ask the average Australian whether the church is achieving this they might say, “Well you pray, go to church and read your bible so I guess you are walking with God. You have institutionalized mercy, set up charitable organisations like the Salvation Army, Anglicare, Baptist Care and Uniting Care and you pay others to care on your behalf so you are vicariously showing mercy. Yet I don’t see many Christians standing in solidarity with the poor and marginalized, with refugees and advocating justice, being willing to go to jail or get killed for doing what is right and just”.
God is merciful, God is just, God is humble it is not a program he does, He is. It’s part of His being. I think if the church was to reflect the heart of God, we may need to go to the poor and marginalized; listen and understand their concerns and as we did this would enliven our relationship with God. Like yeast that works it’s way through dough and changes both components into bread, so too we will be transformed and our communities will be changed as we love mercy.
Lastly, as we attempt at loving those that need mercy we will ask the question of why they are poor or why is there injustice in the first place.
This will end up either in us advocating on their behalf or empowering them to advocate and stand up for justice themselves.
These three things mercy, justice and walking in humility with God are symbiotic. They are the D.N.A. of the mustard seed of God’s Kingdom. If we go to the least, last and lost and sow these seeds of love, they will supplant darkness, injustice and inequality.
For “the best critique of the bad is the practice of the better,” Rene Girard.“
Steve McKinnon, TEAR Australia – www.tear.org.au
TEAR Australia is a Christian Aid, Development and Advocacy Organisation.
Supreme Justice Jesus Christ
Jesus does not delight in the death of the wicked, to be sure, but He does and will destroy those who remain in unbelief. As Supreme Judge, He will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire . . .” Matthew 25:41
David wrote, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way” (Psalm 2:12). Paul, a thousand years later, wrote that Jesus (with His mighty angels) will take “vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 1:8
Vengeance belongs to Jesus; He will repay. He “treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” Revelation 19:15
The life of the sinner was under the sentence of death until Christ by the shedding of His blood in the death on the cross released and cleansed us of all sin.
“Christ bore the divine penalty and God is now free to forgive all sin and declare the believing sinner just in His sight” 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18.
You may like to read this document – The Courts of Heaven – to have an appreciation of heaven’s courts.
A Prayer for Social Justice And Peace
Heavenly Father, may your grace enkindle in all of us a love for many who live in poverty and they need your grace and mercy to continue. Help us to come in obedience to serve you and bring a good vessel in justice in this world.
Grant, oh Lord, your peace, your justice and good judgment. Amen.
A Prayer for Justice In Court
Lord God, Redeemer of all men according to your mercy. I come before you today to ask for justice in court. As the Scriptures say “…behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’” (Revelation 4:1)
God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. Thank you Lord Jesus, and hear my prayer. Amen.
Teach us Lord, Knowledge and Good Judgment
“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.”
Lead us to live Lord according to your Law
“Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, LORD, according to your laws.” Psalm 119:149
Your Laws are Perfect Oh Lord
The heavens declare the Glory of God…
“It rises at one end of the heavens and runs its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart; the commandments of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:6-8
Help us Lord to Help Others
In helping the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned–as well as the child in the womb and the old person who is suffering or near death – we have the opportunity to serve YOU Jesus. You yourself said: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
Prayers for Human Rights
Loving God, bless those who, through no fault of their own, are refugees from warfare, violence, neglect or abuse, and now find themselves adrift in a world that does not know how best to deal with them – these visible, and invisible victims of a fractured world, that needs to experience both your forgiveness and your love.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
“Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Colossians 3:11
Pray for each of:
- Attorney Generals
- The Bars
- Chiefs Justice
- Circuit Judges
- Crown Prosecutors
- King’s Counsels
- Judicial Assistants
- Duty Solicitors
- Justices of Peace
- Justices’ clerks
- King’s Counsel
- Law firms
- The Law Lords
- Lord Chief Justice
- Lord Chancellors
- Masters of the Bench
Courts and Jurisdiction:
- Trial and appellate courts
- Civil law courts and common law courts
- International courts
- International Court of Justice (replaces the Permanent Court of International Justice)
- International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- International Criminal Court
- International arbitral tribunals
- Permanent Court of Arbitration
- WTO Appelate Body
- WTO Dispute Settlement Panels
- NAFTA Dispute Settlement Panels
- International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
- Court of Arbitration for Sport
- OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
- Quasi-judicial international institutions
- Human Rights Committee
- Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
- Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Committee Against Torture
- Committee on Migrant Workers
- Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- African regional judicial institutions
- African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Court of Justice of the African Union (planned)
- Court of Justice of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
- Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States
- East African Court of Justice
- Southern African Development Community Tribunal
- Regional judicial institutions of the Americas
- Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- Central American Court of Justice
- Court of Justice of the Andean Community
- Caribbean Court of Justice
- Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- European regional judicial institutions
- European Court of Justice
- European General Court
- European Court of Human Rights
- Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Agreement States
- Benelux Court of Justice
- Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States
- European Nuclear Energy Tribunal (dormant)
- Western European Union Tribunal (defunct)
- European Tribunal in Matters of State Immunity (dormant)
Types and organization of courts
- Administrative court
- Constitutional court
- Court of Faculties
- Court of record
- Courts of England and Wales
- Ecclesiastical court
- Equity court
- Family court
- High Court of Justiciary
- Revolutionary Tribunal (French Revolution)
- Scots Law
- Scottish Court Service
- Supreme court
Prayer for Prisoners
God, Our Creator,
We acknowledge the ancestors and original owners of this land.
Maker and spirit of earth and all creation let your love possess our land and may we share in faith and friendship, all your gifts.
We pray for all those in our prisons and those who through sickness, addictions and other reasons live in their personal prisons.
We remember and pray for those who seek to change difficult life stories.
We remember and pray for the victims of crime on the outside.
We remember and pray for the countless victims of crime on the inside.
We remember and pray for the whole criminal justice system and its processes.
Keep all of us ever mindful of your great love so that we may always remember you as a God of Mercy and forgiveness.
(Australian Catholic Prisoners, Pastoral Care Council, 6 November 2016)
Prayer for Justice
Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.
It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in yourself.
Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love and with the desire to ensure justice for all.
By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure an equality for all our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May there be an end to division, strife and war.
May there be a dawning of a truly human society built on love and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.