He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
In the Nation’s capital, motorcades, secret service presence, black suits, earpieces and advance teams for presidents, dignitaries, ambassadors, senators, representatives, justices, judges and other public figures are a part of everyday life.
In your first few encounters, you can be intrigued when the men and women in black who whisper into earpieces coded language to convey status walk through spaces, are hidden in plain sight in photos and videos and the amount of focus and attention that must be required to serve in those roles.
Yet, once you start to plan whether to use Massachusetts or Connecticut Avenue for your evening commute to decrease your chances of delay, the curiosity fades along with it. But long before a motorcade or secret service police vehicle heads to a location with the public figure in tow, an advance team comes to set the atmosphere in anticipation of the figure’s arrival. They survey the area for threats, they communicate with all of the key players, they test, triple check and verify everything and everyone will be in place at the time of the public figure’s arrival.
Those called to love people as God loves through the ministry of justice, comfort, and discomfort are part of God’s advance team.
They are called to set the atmosphere for God’s kingdom to be present. They are the prayers, intercessors and anointers of the sanctuary before worship. They know what God has in mind for his world, what God’s coming kingdom looks like. Those who are called to justice are setting the table for God’s kingdom. They are called to prepare people for the movement of the spirit.
Because they are called, they KNOW that encountering the kingdom will be hard. That is also advance work. They know what it takes to respond to the needs of the world. They also know that there you will encounter God. They are the people remind you that the nature of God and that God’s desire is that lions might lie down with lambs and that all God’s people are loved and cared for; that all might know the support of a beloved community. Those called to justice go before us to make sure that even when you don’t have the words, that your moans, groans, laments and sighs are heard.