Speaking at a peace vigil on the evening of 16 January in support of International Bridges for Justice, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit described the life-giving environment of justice, and its role in faith.
“Justice is a gift from God. It comes with life. God affirms each one of us equally by giving us life,” said Tveit. “This is life in the image of God, representing the presence, the dignity, and the love of our creator on this earth.“
The vigil was held at the historic 13th century St Johann Church in Davos, Switzerland prior to the World Economic Forum which begins on 17 January. The day also marked the celebration of the life of civil rights leader Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The ecumenical group in Davos will organize three hours of prayer and meditation every day for the Davos meeting and for justice and peace in the world as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
“Our failures, our mistakes, our ignorance can never undo that we are created in the image of God,” said Tveit. “ But we have hidden, sometimes even tarnished, the image we are given by ignoring the image of God in others.”
International Bridges to Justice is a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the basic legal rights of ordinary individuals in developing countries.
“We all, and particularly those in power, have to exercise the gift of justice by working for it, respecting it, caring for it, and by sharing the resources of our common home,” said Tveit. “Therefore, we have to demand more from those who are given more power than others, whether by virtue of their money, their position, their birth place or family, their position in an organization, a company, or a country.“
We all need to live in the life-giving environment of justice, he added. “God’s justice is faithfulness to all human beings, all created in and carrying the image of God. This faithfulness is our hope when we look to ourselves and the mistakes and miseries we are creating.”