Psalm 82 is fundamental teaching on the importance of justice in the world. God is imagined amongst other gods berating them for their partiality as unfair judges:
Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Vs 3, 4)
Here around the Berlin streets it’s often on display — refugees, street people, men smoking in cafes while women with head-scarves are in the streets begging, even the rich-poor split of the Brexit vote seems relevant.
We walked to Templehof the other day. Even that vast open space is a reminder of past oppression. The area has been variously an airfield, military base, concentration and labour camp, and finally potential housing area until a popular uprising managed to keep it as a public space. Significantly, it was also the hub of the Berlin Airlift, a stand taken soon after the Second World War 1939-45 against a Soviet blockade of free West Berlin, years before the Wall went up.
The deportation and murder of Jews are well recorded in bold face at the Terrain of Terror, and more intimately in small plaques set into pavements throughout Europe recording the names of those murdered. (See post on Psalm 5)
These reminders are great. But we need to renew and refresh the cues and images of our quest for justice. Walking back from Templehof, we came upon a street market by a church. A black gospel choir sang as people sat around in the warm evening airs. People were sitting on boxes provided by the church emblazoned with symbolic images — heart, dove, and sure enough the scales. A familiar reminder in a new place.