Back to Top

Ocular Devices

“1 or 2?  2 or 3? 2 or 4?”  Most of us have had the experience of sitting in a straight back chair in a darkened room with a metal ocular device pressed to our face. Whether you’re being fitted for a new prescription or just there for a routine eye exam, you know how it feels to look through this virtual reality-style contraption and decide which line up of letters looks less blurry. The end goal is always the same - give you the best vision possible so you can see clearly, and also protect the long-term health of your eyes. Each lens offers a different perspective, taking into consideration the shape of your eye, the way in which is receives light and processes it to give you a best and most complete picture.

There are many lenses through which we view the work of justice. There are so many justice issues and so many different modes of response to each.  Some view one particular cause as more important than others. Some wonder whether the work of reconciliation starts with the church or with state. Some choose to lobby, some pray, some write blogs, some participate in small but quiet ways. It can feel overwhelming to see so much injustice so clearly, but also see our ability to do anything about it through a blurry lens of uncertainty and futility. Which lens is going to give us the clearest picture of God’s heart for justice and how can we choose to engage this work in healthy and meaningful ways both as individuals and as a church?

They instead invite us to open our eyes in new and fresh ways to see God’s heart for justice

Worship Ministries was thrilled to team up with the Do Justice podcast for the newest season which wrestled with the intersection of justice and worship. The question we asked each participant was “How can worship orient our hearts towards justice?” There are several obvious answers to that question. We need to pray more often for justice-related concerns. We need to regularly look at our space to make sure it is accessible for all. We need to ensure our impact on the environment is as minimal as possible. We should include voices of all ages, genders, races and orientations in our worship and in our decision making. Yes to all of these things and so much more! But how quickly we can start to feel overwhelmed by injustice, leading to unsustainable effort and minimal impact. So what is the role of worship- both corporate and private in fitting us with the proper lenses and forming us for justice work in God’s kingdom?

As you participate in the familiar and the fresh, wonder about the ways God is aligning your vision

This season of the Do Justice podcast is wonderful because it gives us several different lenses through which we can view this question. None of them are prescriptive - they won’t tell you what to do and exactly how you should do it. They instead invite us to open our eyes in new and fresh ways to see God’s heart for justice and God’s desire for us to participate in the work of reconciliation through our daily liturgies and habits. Each guest comes to the table with something different - different backgrounds and experiences, different ways they choose to engage both justice and worship, different ways to challenge us and draw us outside our comfort zone. When you are listening there will be moments where you nod your head in agreement.  There might be moments that cause you to wonder long after the episode is finished. There might even be moments where you disagree. We encourage you to engage these conversations about worship and justice with a willingness to try on a different lens for a while. Carry it with you into worship in the coming months, and as you participate in the familiar and the fresh, wonder about the ways God is aligning your vision to better see and then reflect God’s heart for justice. 

We have discussion guides available with reflection questions both for personal and group use.  Consider having your worship committee or small group use this in the coming year as a way to discern God’s calling for justice work in your particular context. As you discern, we pray that God will use these conversations and your worship to reorient your hearts to continue doing the good work of justice and peace. 

Listen to all the episodes!

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

In order to steward ministry shares well, commenting isn’t available on Do Justice itself because we engage with comments and dialogue in other spaces. To comment on this post, please visit the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s Facebook page (for Canada-specific articles) or the Office of Social Justice’s Facebook page. Alternatively, please email us. We want to hear from you!

Read more about our comment policy.