Right or Righteous?

St. PatrickLiving in the Spirit
August 26, 2016

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

So we can say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper;
   I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?’  

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. . .. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. –Hebrews 13:6-7, 15-16

It is scary to me how we Christians treat scripture. I take great solace in Hebrews 13:6 understanding that the Lord is my helper. I have had this same scripture, or ones like it, thrown in my face like hot scalding water to justify stances claimed as Christian that are totally alien to my faith. Stances that to me echo fear rather than faith, exclusion rather than inclusion, and judgement rather than empathy. How do we discern God and practice the oneness to which Christ has called us, in a world afraid of its own shadow? How do we mesh what we perceive as right with what God considers righteous? Where is the 21St century plumb line that God provided for Amos? (Amos 7:8)

We waste a lot of time and energy butting heads on issues for which we may never find common ground while writing off as mundane the things we could accomplish together if we can drop the need to be right and adapt Jesus’ righteousness. He is our plumb line. For example, social science* tells us there is a direct link between poverty and abortion. I doubt that consensus may ever be reached on abortion, but surely all Christians have heard the call to end poverty. Some may create jobs, others may provide job training, and others may stem the symptoms of hunger and homelessness while all are one in Christ.

Prayer: Lord, make us seekers and imitators of your righteousness, which in action becomes justice. Amen.


All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights