Please join me for a six-day devotional titled Race. Grace. Justice. Jesus. By Mike Novotny
Day 6: Justice & Judgment day
What would you do to fix racism?
If, like in the movie Bruce Almighty, God handed over his almighty power to you, what would you do? As you looked at all the racism, the injustice, the abuses of authority, the violent looting, and the me-first messes on our planet, which buttons would you push to change the world and bring justice and peace? Would you require a new curriculum for the kids, one that would rid them of the prejudices they learned from their parents? Would you take away every badge and
every gun, only giving them back once you were 150% convinced that the police force was rid of racism ?Would you draft new laws that would finally heal America’s deep wounds after centuries of structural racism? Here is what I would do—I would tell Jesus to come back. Since the human heart is addicted to itself, the best textbooks and training and legislation will never eradicate racism from the human race. They are immensely important (and I thank God for all of you who are doing the hard work in these areas of culture), but they will always fall short of our innate desire for a better society. People, too many to count, will take sin’s shortcut to more power, more money, and more comfort, even if justice must be sacrificed in the process. I wish that wasn’t true, but it is. People who should know better and should be better still aren’t better. Which is why I’m waiting for Jesus. The apostle Paul once preached, “For [God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed” (Acts 17:31). Did you catch that? One day there will be true justice. No more cover-ups or bribes or power plays or dirty politics. Just justice. The kind of complete justice that finally brings peace. No one will get away with it. No one will suffer in vain. No sinner will smirk at his victims. Because there is a day, set by God himself, when Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead. That doesn’t deny our here-and-now need to act justly. We aim for perfection, as the apostle Paul once put it, even though we won’t be perfect until that Last Day arrives. Our best moments of justice are wonderful glimpses of the eternal justice that will return with Jesus. Let’s give this world as many glimpses as we can during these troubling times. But our ultimate hope is not in our reforms but in Jesus’ return. In the summer of 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed in front of 250,000 people.
His “I Have a Dream” speech would stir the hearts of those who, along with King, dreamed of a better country, a land that lacked racism entirely. He concluded his message with a postcard picture of America, one where every person from every city and town and village, no matter what their color, would join hands and sing together. No more racism. Just unity. Just love. That’s what John dreamed about too: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). From every nation. What a dream! “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges” (Revelation 19:11). With justice. What a dream! No wonder the final book of the Bible concludes with Jesus’ promise and John’s response: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people Amen” (Revelation 22:20,21).
Today, let’s work like Dr. King for justice to reign. And let’s dream like St. John for Jesus to return.