“God has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
The prophet Micah identifies justice both as a “good” and a requirement. God expects the people of God to do justice; it is not a mere suggestion, but an integral aspect of practicing faith in YHWH’s name.
But why is justice a moral and ethical good? Why is doing justice integral to the practice of the Christian faith? Injustice – poverty, racism, exploitation, and other forms of marginalization in this world – demean the human dignity of the person to whom injustice is directed. To obscure the human dignity of another is to deny her/his “created-in-God’s-image-ness” and to reject the fact that the divine spark dwells within her/him.
The church is called to practice justice not because justice is an end in and of itself, but because working for justice and insisting upon justice is the fruit of affirming the worth and dignity of every living human being (especially the poor and marginalized) — a dignity rooted in her/his creation by God and by the fact that she/he bears the Divine image.