Transformation begins by inspiring—by breathing in—hope. Only then can we exhale justice. In ‘Immanuel’, God’s sign of hope for a desperate world, we find the means by which we can pursue justice.
In calling for Christ’s kingdom, we do not call for Christ to dominate over and against the world. Rather, his kingdom brings transformation of the world, so that the world corresponds with God’s justice and grace, enabling creation’s arrival at its fullest selfhood.
The politics of proclamation emerge from and carry forward God’s liberative force. Mary Magdalene’s witness to the risen Christ manifests and proclaims the disruption and the liberation of God’s new reality.
Deuteronomy 26 and Luke 4 both involve the navigating or enduring of pressures. The pressure of God’s liberating inbreaking overcomes and escapes those pressures that would exert themselves against it.
Often misread as a statement in praise of ‘sacrificial’ giving, Jesus’ observation concerning the widow’s offering at the temple is designed to condemn exploitative structures that prey upon the most vulnerable. We should not be able to read this account without reflecting upon comparable systems of economic injustice in our own day.