If you’ve attended All Saints the past three weeks, you’ve noticed a theme in the messages – a call to justice and mercy and an honoring of the poor and the weak (remember the report on “what we learn from our Rwandan partners” on January 23). This is not a theme that I created; it is the result of following the assigned lectionary texts. In this season, the lectionary is drawing from the massive deposit of words about justice and mercy found in God’s word.
Personally I have been surprised to see afresh how important this is to God. Reflecting on the amount our Lord has to say about this issue, the words that pop to mind are “relentless”, “passionate” and even “hammering”. This is clearly a big deal to God. And looking ahead to the texts for the rest of Epiphany, I realize we’re not done.
My response to this is that God is speaking, and I need to listen. For years I have known the words about mercy and justice, but this time the Lord is pushing me a lot further. He is speaking to me about my lifestyle, my finances and my personal involvement. I don’t know what that means, but I know I cannot stay in neutral (“consideration mode”) long before I fall into disobedience.
Right now I am thinking about concrete deeds that dovetail with what we’re already doing. Do I start tutoring with Eagles Nest? What about coming alongside refugee families that World Relief has helped place at Oak Creek Village? Do I finally break down and take Spanish as a Second Language so I can communicate with the flood of people right next door? What about my participation alongside other All Saints’ members who are fighting against sex trafficking or working for jobs for the poor?
Right now I am praying, but I want to go further – to talk, and pray, about concrete deeds with others from All Saints who are thinking, acting, already working out there. If you have something you want to talk about, that helps strengthen and expand what is already going on through All Saints, let’s talk. Anybody want to talk about this?