Justice, Community, and … Math?


Last time I suggested that God’s versions of community and justice are linked.

We have a human tendency to categorize, to put community in one column and justice in another. It’s like the two-colored wristband…either the blue side or the green side is displayed.

Language magnifies the issue. We use finite words to express God’s infinite thoughts and then become entrenched in understanding the words themselves rather than the divine thoughts behind them. Mishpat and tzadeqah, translated “justice and righteousness,” are used in conjunction frequently, leading to the impression that they’re distinct.

God, of course, isn’t stuck with our categories or our language. In fact, when He sent Jesus to be THE WORD, God spoke into the world in a way mere words couldn’t accomplish.

I believe that mishpat and tzadeqah, setting things right and living in right relationships, aren’t distinct at all. I believe that God’s notion of community and justice aren’t different sides of the two-colored wristband.

A better model, I think, comes from (where else?) the wonderful world of mathematics…specifically, geometry.

It’s called a Möbius band. If we cut the traditional wristband, give it a single half-twist, and re-join the ends, the result is a band with only one side. A line drawn at “justice” will intersect “community” and go back to “justice” in an infinite, never-ending connection.

(Here’s a short video demonstration of a Möbius band.)

Once in a while someone asks, “Why don’t you just ride bikes? Why does the FREEDOM TOUR raise money for kids in some far-away place? Wouldn’t you still make friends and have fun if you just did a bike ride?”

Fair question. There are lots of great rides like that. We could take our standard, two-sided wristband, turn it community-side-out, and have a wonderful time. Nothing wrong with that.

We’re doing something different. We’re seeking to be part of a bigger story, God’s story of setting things right (justice) by living, as best we can, in right relationships (community) with God, ourselves, others, and the world.

It’s a messy process. No claim to understand how it works. Certain only that God invites us all to write our part of the story of Justice/Community.

We’re a community of friends who cycle to bring hope and freedom to kids rescued from human trafficking. Lots of ways to get involved.

How about joining us in 2018?

Check out our website for details.