Restorative Justice

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday morning, Sept 11, 2011, at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church. I gave a shorter version at Wicker Park Grace that evening.

Click the audio icon at the end of this post to listen in.

You can also right click here and “save link as” to download the mp3 file to your iTunes:

Restorative Justice download (mp3)

And here is a pdf transcript of what I said: Restorative Justice–Rev.Nanette.Sawyer

I approached the task of writing and preaching this sermon with fear and trembling. There is so much emotion surrounding 9/11 and all that has happened since, related to it.

Of course, the lectionary reading that came up was the Red Sea incident, in which the Israelite slaves cross over the sea to freedom, and their oppressors perish as the waters crash back down on them.

Is this a story about Justice, or about Liberation? Is it a story about Punishment, or about Salvation? Is there a difference?

What does “Justice” look like to God? I suggest that God’s justice is a Restorative Justice, and not a Retributive Justice.

One additional and important point I make is that we must think carefully about who “we are” in the story–are we the oppressed, or are we the oppressors? How does this story relate to our current world situation?

Listen in…