Doing Justice, Assuring the Common Good

Living in the Spirit
November 8, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 78:1-7
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
   incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
   that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
   we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
   and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,
   and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
   to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them,
   the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
   but keep his commandments;

The message is simple and clear: we must learn from our mistakes and successes, and we must work to assure that the generations to follow will not need to repeat the same learning from their experiences. We do not do a good job of either.

Congress is once again pursuing tax cut legislation based on a debunked theory that cutting the taxes on the wealthy and businesses will grow the economy so much the government will reap enough tax money to fuel the economy even when the percentage of taxes collected after the cuts were reduced markedly. I know of several instances when implementation of this scheme did not work. I know of none when it did work.

Greed and lust for power drive people to function in ways that do not recognize reality. We all do this to some degree or another. I have a friend who suffers extreme migraines after eating chocolate. Occasionally, she will sample a small morsel of chocolate and prove to herself once again that she should not eat chocolate. The only person she is hurting is herself from not applying what she learned from her history. Congress, on the other hand, causes extreme anxiety to millions of people just by introducing cuts in services to counterbalance cuts in taxes. When cuts in service are made, human beings suffer the consequences of the actions of the members of Congress passing the legislation. Congress members may never interact with the people paying a high price for Congress’ being out of touch with reality.

We are called to do justice. A piece of that is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Prayer: Lord, open the ears, eyes, and hearts of the members of Congress and state legislatures to face the real outcomes of their actions. Guide them to find ways to assure the Common Good not just what is good for the people who financially support them. 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 America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.