For the final three weeks of this semester, we’ll be starting a discussion on Christian virtues. During these weeks, we’ll be asking questions like: What does it mean to be a virtuous person? How does being virtuous relate to following Christ? and How does virtue help me actually live in a modern world like today. On this last week, we’ll be looking at the first of the cardinal virtues: justice.
What is one of your pet-peeves?
Micah 6; Matthew 25:31-46
- If someone said something was “cheap justice” what do you think that would mean? Can you think of any examples when justice is technically done, but not fully expressed?
Read Micah 6.
- This passage is structured as if God is bringing a lawsuit against the people of Israel. He is arguing that they have broken covenant with Him due to their actions. What injustices is God accusing the people of Israel of committing?
- How do you see these injustices at work in your world? How do you see them at work in your life?
Leader’s Note: It is important to help us read the passage as if it is addressed to us, not someone else. While there are grievous examples of injustice in our world, the accusations of injustice can still apply to us. We often make small unjust decisions or are caught in systems of injustice without acknowledging them
- The charges levied by God in Micah 6 have both personal and social dimensions. How are these two aspects of justice related?
- As a group, think of a common injustice that people are passionate about rectifying today. What are the common solutions bring to the table? Does the Christian message offer any different lenses for addressing this issue?
Read Micah 6:8.
- Verse 8 is often quoted in discussions related to discussion and faith. How do you see the concepts of justice, mercy, and humility at work in this passage?
- How is mercy related to justice? Can you think of any examples when these two concepts are related?
Diving Deeper: Justice as a Virtue
- Jesus provides this parable as a challenge to people who discuss religion, but do not do the things it requires. How is this a challenge to conceptions of justice that do not require personal action?
- How do you see Jesus as a representation of the kind of justice described in this passage?
- How is justice a virtue? Why is it important to think of justice as both a civic and a personal matter?
- What are some areas of injustice in which you need to personally engage? What would this look like in terms of personal cultivation? What would this look like in terms of social engagement?
The Character of Virtue: Letters to a Godson by Stanley Hauerwas