Mothers' Day Justice
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
May 13, 2012
Mothers' Day Justice
For an all-text version, click here.
THIS YEAR'S THEME: The Year of the Lord
THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: What does the Lord require? Justice.
Open your Bible
Light a candle
From the Bible:
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
134. A person can have a conscience of good and a conscience of justice. A conscience of good is that of the internal man, that of justice is that of the external man. A conscience of good is acting according to the commands of faith out of internal affection, but a conscience of justice is acting according to civil and moral laws out of external affection. Those who have a conscience of good also have a conscience of justice. But those who have only a conscience of justice have the capability of receiving a conscience of good, and they do so when they are taught. NJHD
During the Civil War Julia Ward Howe wrote, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." As she became more famous, she was frequently asked to speak publicly. She began to speak about the horrors of war, and became an advocate for peace.
Mother's Day Justice
She worked with the widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war.
In 1870, she decided that peace and equality were the two most important things in the world. She called for women to rise up and oppose all forms of war. She wanted women to come together from all nations, to recognize what we have in common and to commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts. She issued a Declaration, hoping to gather together women in a congress of action.
She wanted to create a Mothers’ Day for Peace.
She wasn’t able to implement her idea but she influenced Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who had been working since 1858 to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbor.
The work of both of these women was instrumental in the creation of our modern Mothers’ Day.
But working for peace was not the only accomplishment of Julia Ward Howe. In the aftermath of the Civil War, she, like many before her, began to see parallels between struggles for legal rights for blacks and the need for legal equality for women. She became active in the woman suffrage movement to gain the vote for women.
She preached often in Unitarian and Universalist churches. Beginning in 1873, she hosted an annual gathering of women ministers, and in the 1870s helped to found the Free Religious Association.
She also became active in the woman's club movement, serving as president of the New England Women's Club from 1871. She helped found the Association for the Advancement of Women (AAW) in 1873, serving as president from 1881.
In 1893, Julia Ward Howe participated in the Chicago Columbian Exposition (World's Fair), including chairing a session and presenting a report on "Moral and Social Reform" at the Congress of Representative Women.
When Julia Ward Howe died in 1910, four thousand people attended her memorial service.
Her life is an inspiring example of “justice” from a Swedenborgian perspective.
To Swedenborg, the Lord is justice. He wrote:
Because of its nature and origin, and because in and of itself it is purely divine, the Lord’s justice could not become part of anyone or produce any salvation any more than the divine life could, which is divine love and divine wisdom. The Lord does come into every one of us bring his love and divine wisdom, but unless we are following the divine design in our lives, that life, although it may indeed be in us, makes no contribution whatever to our salvation. It gives us only the ability to understand what is true and do what is good. TC 96
The acts of redemption through which the Lord made himself justice were these: carrying out the Last Judgment, which he did in the spiritual world; separating the evil from the good and the goats from the sheep; driving out of heaven those who had joined the beasts that served the dragon [Revelation 13]; assembling a new heaven of the deserving and a new hell of the undeserving; bringing both heaven and hell back into the divine design; and establishing a new church. These acts were the acts of redemption through which the Lord became justice.
Justice is following the divine design in all that one does, and bringing back into the divine design things that have fallen away from that design. Justice is the divine design itself. TC 97
In 1919, Rev. T.S. Harris wrote an article for the New Church Life called “What the Lord Requires.” He looked at the importance of “doing justice,” and he wrote:
With the Lord there is no such thing as "retributive justice." God does not revenge injustice and injuries done by evil beings. Those who are evil inflict evil upon those who do evil. The "golden rule" of heaven becomes its opposite with the infernals. In hell, to everyone is done as he has done to others. Justice is to do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you; but "getting even" is retaliation, or "the cruelty of revenge."
Think about people you know who have lived their lives exhibit doing good to others and living in the divine design. Think of people who bring order when things fall away from the divine design. These people are motherly people. Often, they are mothers.
Consider the motherly actions in your life, and in the lives of those around you. Let us rejoice for all of the motherly acts of justice in our lives every day.
"Lord of all, bless the mothers of this world with all good things. Give them your hearts desire for them. We thank you for the privilege of being Mothers. Keep us close to you Lord while we are serving our children so that we may know the best way to teach and guide them. May all mothers be blessed this day. AMEN."
Extinguish your candle.
Close the Bible
Go in peace, honoring the earth's union with the Divine.
9 PM Eastern; 6 PM Pacific;
Chapel Chat Room
Coffee Hour Chat
9:30 PM Eastern; 6:30 PM Pacific;