Let Justice Roll

*A present day rewriting of Amos

 

My people

Those called after my name

Those created in my image

Whose origins and stories I have known intimately

And been intricately involved in

Those I knit together with love and intention

And led with cords of kindness

Whose names I have engraved into my very skin

For whom I paved the way out of oppression

And broke the chains of slavery

My people

 

How quickly you have forgotten these paths we have travelled

How quickly your memory has unravelled this shared history

How swiftly you have reduced me to a God of apathy

Neutral in the face of injustice

Do you not know me at all?

 

For you perfect your religion like it’s a play, getting on your knees to pray, memorising your sermon lines, finding flawless harmonies to enhance your worship sets

Yet off stage, you underpay your employees, and justify harsh inequality with your gospel of prosperity, silencing my prophets who proclaim liberation.

The sound of your worship is deafening when combined with the cries of the labourers that you have underpaid

The smell of your incense offered at the temple is unbearable when mixed with the teargas used to protect your privilege

Your offerings are a mockery when they have been gained through the pain and exploitation of others

Your sisters and brothers

 

Their bones cry out from the ground

The bones of the landless, the enslaved, the imprisoned, the oppressed

The bones of my people cry out from the ground

 

And even this ground cries out for the waters of justice to flow

For the water it has known has been the sweat of those who have toiled it as their own while never getting to own even a slice

Their cries and groans the lullabies it has grown accustomed to

Yes, the land knows them well

They are one and the same

Their tears have watered its barren plains

Their blood has stained its soils red

It has become the bed of their final slumber

Home to countless of their fallen numbers

The land continues to swallow them whole

 

How long will you stand by as it swallows them whole

Into its ravenous cracks that echo the ever-widening chasm between rich and poor

In spasm under the weight of injustice, creation groans

The land cries out for living waters to flow

This drought will not be remedied through trickle-down charity

 

Your last remaining hope is to seek me and live

The God who brought you up out of Egypt

Seek me and live

The God who leads you into places of rest

Seek me and live

The God who is all-seeing and all-feeling

Seek me and live

The God who believes there is nothing that is not worth redeeming

Seek me and live

The God who loves deeply those you disdain

Seek me and live

The God who stands on the side of the marginalised

Seek me and live

The God who tears down temples and flips over tables

Seek me and live

The God who proclaims liberty to the captives

Seek me and live

The God who is good news to the poor

Seek me and live

 

That justice may roll down like mighty waters

And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream

 

By Thandi Gamedze

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Author: The Warehouse

The Warehouse is an organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa, that is passionate about societal transformation through an engaged and justice-centered church. We seek to achieve this vision by inspiring, equipping and connecting churches to become a transforming and transformative presence in their communities through effectively addressing poverty, injustice and division. We hope that you will join us on this journey!

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