Scripture Reading: Acts 17:22-31
For “In him we live and move and have our being”;[*] as even some of your own poets have said,
“For we too are his offspring.”
Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’ –Acts 17:28-31
The coming of Jesus initiated a season of human responsibility. At least that seems to be what Paul is saying. The time has passed when humans can blame gods of metal or stone for good or bad. We are responsible for our well-being and the well-being of one another. We are after all God’s offspring endowed by our Creator with abilities the Creator expects us to use but not use in any namby-pamby way. God sent prophets and teachers and finally sent Jesus Christ to share with us God’s vision of righteousness. We do not judge our work results ourselves nor are we assigned the task of judging others. Jesus drew the assignment of judge. The risen Lord enables our work toward righteousness or justice through the acts of the Holy Spirit. After reading our scripture today, we perhaps should sing Called as Partners in Christ’s Service with a little more seriousness if not fear and trembling.
Righteousness and justice are threatened all around us. In the first place, we cannot even agree on what is right and what is just. I fear in many instances our disagreements stem from the desire to reshape God’s definition of justice to fit our lifestyles. Thus each group has its particular set which they defend in discord with the other.
How do we bring God back into the picture?
Prayer: God of Justice, plant seeds of righteousness in each of our hearts make them flourish enabling our discernment of justice and making us seekers of its fruition. Amen.
*Quote from Aratus, (flourished c. 315–c. 245 bc, Macedonia), Greek poet of Soli in Cilicia