Tucked away in the very middle of the book of Psalms, you’ll find my very favorite verse of scripture. Psalm 85 describes what it will be like when God’s salvation reigns on the new earth. The tenth verse says that in those days, ‘”love and justice meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other.”
Sometimes it feels like we have to choose, doesn’t it? Between peace and righteousness, between love and justice. But that is only because we’ve become accustomed to watered-down, inauthentic versions—peace-keeping instead of peace-making, vengeance instead of justice, comfort instead of love, self-righteousness instead of God’s righteousness. In the Kingdom of God, love, justice, righteousness, and peace need no reconciliation.
And the dawn of salvation, of course, is the story we are so eagerly anticipating in this season—the birth of Christ. The coming of our savior is a story of mercy, of forgiveness, of love, and of righteousness. And, it is also, always, a story of justice. That’s why when Mary is ready to rejoice, she sings a song of the coming of holy justice. Her magnificat celebrates that with the birth of her son, God is establishing a kingdom where righteousness and peace kiss—where all are fed, all are healed, all are reconciled in God’s great love.
One of the things Mary knew is that God’s love looks like justice and God’s justice feels like love. I hope you will listen in to this message as we let Mary teach us the true meaning of Christmas.