Justice is God's
plan for the world: a future when societies and nations are in harmony
with each other, and work together to care for creation. This is
a wonderful vision of how God wants the world to be. It's difficult
to understand why God doesn't simply make it happen. Why not now?
force human beings to act in certain ways. If God made the world
into a place of peace and harmony, but human beings didn't change,
the world would soon return to the way it was before. The practice
of justice-getting in line with God's plan for the world-is for
the sake of the world, but it is for our own sake, too. When we
begin to see people as God sees them, as beloved children or brothers
and sisters, it changes our attitudes and our actions.
not be able to build houses or dedicate a year of volunteer service,
but they can cultivate attitudes which defeat prejudice and fear,
and learn habits of listening to and caring for those beyond their
family or church family. Praying on behalf of themselves or others
is an important practice for children to develop, but children need
to be told clearly that prayer does not have "magical"
powers. Prayer does not guarantee a certain outcome. When we pray
for someone, we are asking that God's plan for them will happen.
We are also asking God to make us part of that plan. This means
we might have to act-to keep praying, or go visit, or learn more
about the situation. There may be times when we pray, listen, and
act and things still don't work out they way we asked for. We can't
always understand God's plan, but we know that God is with us and
cares for us even when we are angry or sad.
Guiding a child's
spiritual formation can be daunting, enlightening, and occasionally
hilarious. Be sure to hold in prayer the children in your care,
and ask them to pray for you, too.
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