Third Day of Advent   8 comments

Above:  Lascaux Caves Lions

The Justice of God

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017

Isaiah 11:1-10 (Revised English Bible):

Then a branch will grow from the stock of Jesse,

and a shoot will spring from his roots.

On him the spirit of the LORD will rest:

a spirit of wisdom and understanding,

a spirit of counsel and power,

a spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD;

and in the fear of the LORD will be his delight.

He will not judge by outward appearances

or decide a case on hearsay;

but with justice he will judge the poor

and defend the humble in the land with equity;

like a rod his verdict will strike the ruthless,

and with his word he will slay the wicked.

He will wear the belt of justice,

and truth will be his girdle.

Then the wolf will live with the lamb,

and the leopard lie down with the kid;

the calf and the young lion will feed together,

with a little child to tend them.

The cow and the bear will be friends,

and their young will lie down together;

and the lion will eat straw like cattle.

The infant will play over the cobra’s hole,

and the young child dance over the viper’s nest.

There will be neither hurt nor harm in all my holy mountain,

for the land will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea.

On that day a scion from the root of Jesse

will arise like a standard to rally the peoples;

the nations will resort to him,

and his abode will be glorious.

Psalm 72:1-7 (Revised English Bible):

God, endow the king with your own justice,

his royal person with your righteousness,

that he may govern your people rightly

and deal justly with your oppressed ones.

May hills and mountains provide your people

with prosperity in righteousness.

May he give judgment for the oppressed among the people

and help the needy;

may he crush the oppressor.

May he fear you as long as the sun endures,

and as the moon throughout the ages.

May he be like rain falling on early crops,

like showers watering the earth.

In his days may righteousness flourish,

prosperity abound until the moon is no more.

Luke 10:21-24 (Revised English Bible):

At that moment Jesus exulted in the Holy Spirit and said,

I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and wise, and revealing them to the simple.  Yes, Father, such was your choice.  Everything is entrusted to me by my Father; no one knows who the Son is but the Father, or who the Father is but the Son, and those to the Son chooses to reveal him.

The Collect:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As a student of history, I know that we human beings, especially those in positions of power and prestige, assume that the status quo represents the will of God.  Such an assumption is quite convenient for those who benefit from their social positions, providing them with many benefits.  And if these people can convince those whom they exploit that the status quo represents the will of God, social injustice perseveres.  Perhaps these privileged people lie to themselves before they deceive others.

Yet I cannot grasp how anyone can read the words of the Hebrew Prophets then examine current events and not see social injustice.  How many of those who perpetuate economic injustice speak publicly of their faith, at least when campaigning?  Are they blind to this sin, or do they mock God?  This judgment resides with God alone, but the cries and pleas of the oppressed echo down the corridors of time, into the present day.

The justice of God overturns many, if not most, of our assumptions.  It establishes a new social order, converts enemies into friends and allies, makes the first last and the last first, exalts the humble and causes those who live by hubris to stumble.  It is a leveling force, for God does not regard us as we think of ourselves and each other.

The purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.  Thanks be to God!

KRT

Written on May 31, 2010

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/the-justice-of-god/

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Posted September 14, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2017-2018, Advent, December, Episcopal Church Lectionary

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