Justice and Mercy
The Scriptures tell us that God cares deeply for those who are without the capacity to lift themselves out of these circumstances (Isaiah 1:17, James 1:27). They also tell us that as the church, justice and mercy should be at the forefront of the Kingdom that Jesus spoke of so frequently and part of the pursuit of a disciple of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 1, Isaiah 58, Isaiah 61, Micah 6:8). Therefore, part of what Watershed is attempting to become in its missional pursuit is a community engaged in the pursuit of JUSTICE and MERCY.
One of the aspects of being “salt and light” is in unearthing, exposing, and UNCOVERING the truth regarding the sources of suffering. As the Church, infused with Christ’s spirit in our life, once a source of injustice is uncovered we are charged to CONFRONT the authorities, powers, and/or participants that guard, manage, or prop up that system with the truth about its unjust nature. Then, under the Holy Spirit’s direction and empowerment, we are to pray, love and work towards seeing the system revolutionized and healed. The ultimate goal is to bring TRANSFORMATION to the system in order to bring healing and wholeness to people under it.
Within systematic injustice, the physical needs of humanity still exist. People who are hungry, sick, homeless, and victimized still have legitimate, immediate needs to be addressed and met. Mercy (private charity) is the dispensing of resources, time, and energy towards the needs connected to human suffering, while Justice at Watershed is the pursuit and process of uncovering, confronting and transforming broken systems in society that create human suffering.
Mercy gives bread and water to hungry and thirsty people; justice seeks to change the systems that cause people to be hungry and go without water. Mercy helps people find shelter and clothing; justice addresses the erroneous systems that allow large numbers of people to be without shelter and clothing.