February 20th is World Day of Social Justice. It’s an international day dedicated to promoting social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues like poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights and social protections.

As a child development organization, we love to champion days like today! We also know that the social justice we seek day in and day out is rooted in something much deeper than cultural movements or online trends. The social justice we seek is deeply rooted in Jesus.

And the coolest part? We can see brushstrokes of God’s justice painted all throughout scripture. From the Old Testament to the New, God is consistently compelling His people to join with Him in the work of shalom—the restoration of all that is broken and all who are broken.

Let’s take a look.

A elderly woman is wearing a necklace of strings of orange beads. She has a white shirt with flowers and has a blurred background of flowers behind her.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”

Isaiah 1:17

Three little girls are running on a trail together laughing. They are wearing bright pink and orange clothing.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

 Micah 6:8

A girl wearing a blue flowered dress hold a baby close to her. There are trees behind them.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

 James 1:27

This silhouette photo is of a sunset over the water with a little girl's shadow as she stands by the water.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

Luke 4:18-19

A young boy wears a blue t-shirt and sits on playground equipment smiling.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

 Isaiah 58: 6-9

Two babies laugh together while eating oatmeal. One baby is wearing a blue dress and the other is wearing a pink dress.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

 Matthew 25:35

A little boy sits on the sandy ground smiling. He is wearing a pink polo shirt and red patterned pants.

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.”

Psalm 89:14

Learn more about seeking justice and loving mercy with Compassion!

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Photos by Ben Adams, Caroline A. Mwinemwesigwa, Gabriella Akpene Samaty, Nico Benalcazar and Jake Thomas. 

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is a Content Specialist at Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.