Justice – 28 September 2020
Here Justice sits on a chair, her foot resting on the world. She has a double-edged sword in her right hand and a pair of scales in her left. Often depicted with her eyes covered by a blindfold, here she stares coolly out of the picture, able to see far into the future. She can judge what will come of actions in the present, good or bad. If she wields her sword it could be for or against any party, which makes her scales essential, as she weighs both sides of any case, so that she is fair.
The virtues, including justice, have long been depicted as female. The word ‘virtue’ has its root in the latin word for ‘man’, and came to mean ‘moral excellence’, understood to be exemplified by men. In early city states, it was the males who established and protected virtues, that took female forms to be protected.
This painting ‘Allegory of Juctice’ (1470) is by Biagio d’AntonioTucci, a Florentine artist, painting at the time the city state of Florence rose in power and influence.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.
The arc of the moral universe is long, it bends towards justice.
Martin Luther King, Jr
Lord, you give us the unwavering call to do justice.
You tell us to defend the cause of the fatherless and the widow.
To love the foreigner residing among us.
To provide for the hungry, thirsty, and naked.
To love our enemy.
May your Spirit fill us with hope.
Remind us that we are good enough for you,
so that in all things, we will follow your will,
and take up the call to do justice,
to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you.