A seven-week journey of worship and preaching that explores the major issues of justice in our world (power, money, race, sexuality, and climate change) and offers simple, practical guidelines for living justly in our daily lives.
Just Living – A Liturgical Guide to Everyday Justice (PDF)
The world is still grappling with the global COVID-19 pandemic which has so far plagued our planet for a year and a half. The end is not yet in sight, although vaccines have given us hope and a glimpse of a time when this struggle will be over.
Yet, even as we have navigated this most threatening global health crisis in history, the injustices and inequalities in our world have been brought into stark relief.
- We have watched how power games played by political and religious leaders have either helped or hindered the efforts to contain the virus and produce vaccines.
- We have seen how the wealthy have been far less affected than the poor, and how the poorest nations have suffered the greatest losses of income and of human lives.
- We have witnessed black people falling ill and dying at a far greater rate than white people and we have heard the cries of “Black Lives Matter” in response to the unnecessary deaths of black people through police brutality.
- We have read that rates of violence against women have increased during lockdowns and we have seen some politicians use the pandemic to villainise and persecute LGBTOIA+ people.
- And through it all, the damage done to our planet and the changes in the global climate have continued, even as we’ve caught a glimpse of what a restored world could look like when, for a few months, the world was in lockdown.
All of these realities have shown us that it is as important as ever for followers of Jesus the Christ to make whatever contribution we can to building the world of love and justice that Jesus called the Reign of God. But what we have witnessed has also shown us how big the challenges are in our quest to bring justice into our world. For many of us the size of the problems are overwhelming and we are tempted to give up in despair.
And that’s why I feel compelled to offer this liturgical guide: Just Living. This seven-week journey of worship and preaching explores the major issues of justice in our world (power, money, race, sexuality, and climate change) and offers simple, practical guidelines for living justly in our daily lives. Used in congregational worship, this guide will empower your community to make a significant difference in each of these areas in your corner of the world.
Just Living includes sermon starters, prayers, response rituals, guidelines for integration each week’s message into daily living, guidelines for small groups and personal devotions, and a custom-written Table Liturgy.
Just Living is not specific to any particular season in the Liturgical Calendar and is designed to fit it into any period in your church’s journey where it is appropriate to address justice as a shaper of our daily living. The theological foundations are progressive and the approach to justice in this guide is inclusive and affirming of all people.
JUST LIVING INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS:
Chapter One: A Simple Truth About Justice
If our lives are to be fulfilled, meaningful, connected, and whole we need to know that we matter, that we are intrinsically valuable, and that we make a difference to the world. If our world is ever to become more unified and equal then we need to know that we all matter and that our contribution helps toward the healing of our society.
Chapter Two: Just Power
Every human being is affected by questions of power. From brothers negotiating their play, to world leaders negotiating a trade war, power dynamics filter through every facet of human experience—families, work places, friendships, places of worship, and even leisure activities. When we can identify and map power dynamics we can navigate relationships so much better and avoid toxic power-mongering in ourselves and in those around us.
Chapter Three: Just Money
If we can just adopt a sacred perspective on our finances, and begin to earn, save, give, and spend more mindfully, we can find a freer, healthier, and more life-giving way to work with money. And that will make a huge difference to us and to the people around us.
Chapter Four: Just Race
if we long for lives of security, peace, and friendship with our neighbours, if we long for a world of justice, equality, and global unity, we cannot remain blind to colour, and we must seek to build—to paraphrase Archbishop Desmond Tutu—a “rainbow world”.
Chapter Five: Just Sex
Our sexuality matters. It matters to us because it affects every part of our lives. It matters to others because it shapes our relationships (not just romantically and sexually). And it matters to the world because until we can accept and celebrate the full range of human sexual diversity no one is safe or free.
Chapter Six: Just Earth
when we care for creation we care for ourselves. When we treat our world with kindness and respect we nurture our own health and well-being. We enjoy cleaner air, purer water, cheaper and more sustainable energy, healthier food, and beautiful soul-feeding scents and visions. In short, we cannot be spiritual people without also being people who care for the earth.
Chapter Seven: Just Living
In the end it’s not about the big movements, policies, decisions, or initiatives. For the world to become a little more like our dream it just takes a few small, daily decisions. When we consistently and constantly practice small acts of justice, we help to bend the universe—or at least our corner of it—a little closer to justice.