n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Christian worship : a matter of justice
|Article Title||Christian worship : a matter of justice|
|© Publisher:||Southern African Missiological Society (SAMS)|
|Journal||Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies|
|Affiliations||1 University of South Africa|
|Publication Date||Nov 2012|
|Pages||217 - 232|
|Keyword(s)||Central prophetic message, Christian worship, Foreigners, Identify, Justice, Love, Marginalisation, Relationship, Respect, The HIV and AIDS infected and The poor|
This article highlights the value of Christian worship in the lives of Christians. It argues that worship should sensitise Christians towards justice and the practice thereof and it highlights my personal observations of the religious actions of some churches, contrasting their lack of concern for justice with God's positive concern for justice. The article defines Christian worship and explores - and establishes as indissoluble - the relationship between Christian worship and justice. The article also explores the meaning of the concept of "justice" and concludes that the link between worship of God and acts of justice is similarly indissoluble. Expanding on this link, and exploring the relationship between Christian worship and justice, the article further establishes that the practice of justice is a constituent part of authentic Christian worship. The implications of justice-focused Christian worship are found to be quite meaningful: helping church members to accept and respect the humanity of all people, especially the weak, the vulnerable and the voiceless; changing situations of dire need; bringing about serious and genuine transformation in the lives of both the rich and the poor; and affirming the value of active Christian presence, community and vocation. In conclusion, I recommend that the faith community actively identify with the poor, with those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS, with foreigners and with other marginalised people, and that they do so in prophetic, priestly and kingly presence.
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