I can honest say I knew nothing about author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn nor was a familiar with his historically impressive work “The Gulag Archipelago.” It has never been close to being on my must read list. Now, I’m bit intrigued and it may actually find its way on the list; averaging 250 words per minute it would only take me 13 hours and 37 minutes of to read all 704 pages. These days I’m reading for enjoyment but every once in a while I receive a provoking or challenging thought which gets stuck in my head. At first I was not sure why a colleague passed it on in an email (other than to show me he’s not reading Joel Rosenberg) but the context of the email made it clear what he was referring to which may seem inflammatory to some. So, I’ll just skip it. However, Solzhenitsyn quote is powerful. He writes: “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us, that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it. It will raise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evil doers we are not only protecting their trivial old age we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
So I began to perpend about the negative impacts of complicity, both mine as an individual and ours as a church, as well as a larger community. There is an un-holiness about passivity when it comes to addressing complicated issues and evil. Seeming to be more neutral is a less threatening strategy but I also know my (our) voice needs to be spoken. How are we to be blessed if we don’t practice (live out) God’s desire for creature, community and creation?
Scripture Reading: Psalm 106:3
“How blessed are those who keep justice, who practice righteousness at all times!”
What does justice mean to you?
How are you keeping justice?
What do you practice most often in your life?
Prayer: Holy God, let your blessing flow over me. Let my words be helpful and holy as I practice what you call me to do. Use me to let justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry. Amen.
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