Tag Archives: Equality

Trembling Before God

Living in the Spirit
October 18, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 99

The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
   He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earthquake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name.
   Holy is he!
Mighty King, lover of justice,
   you have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
Extol the Lord our God;
   worship at his footstool.
   Holy is he! –Psalm 99:1-5

The time is ripe for us to re-acquaint ourselves with the All-Powerful God. The God we learned to cherish as a child, the loving Father, still cares about our every need but we do not consider trembling before that God. I worked with foster parents who lived on a farm and often had as many as five small children in their charge. They had a huge Doberman. The children rode him he was so big. He was as much their caretaker as the humans. I think he sensed their life challenges. I also knew never to get out of the car when I drove into their driveway if the children were playing in the yard until one of the adults came out to welcome me. The Doberman was the children’s guardian angel. Similarly, God calls us to partnership in assuring and protecting justice for all.

Many children of our Mighty King, lover of justice, establisher of equity are living without justice and equity. We should be very concerned about that.

  • People are dying for lack of clean water,
  • Refugees are escaping certain death with no one willing to receive them
  • Vast discrepancies exists among children of color in school advancement
  • The working poor have little or no healthcare
  • Children are being left in unsafe child care settings because their parents cannot afford to pay for quality care
  • An epidemic of opioid drug use exists because companies make huge profits from the sale of prescription drugs.

I compiled this list from one night’s news.

While we can rest comfortably in the love of God, we must answer God’s call to create a world where all experience justice. Evil thrives in inequality. As it grows, it smothers that which is good resulting in more and more injustice. We must get educated and get involved to let the principalities and powers of our world know where we stand on these and other similar issues. We serve a mighty God who has our backs as we do the Lord’s justice. I somehow do not like the idea of standing before God and explaining why I did nothing. God does not expect each of us to do everything; God does expect all of us to do justice.

Prayer: Almighty God, empower us as we do your justice on our world today. 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.

Loving The Oppressed

Living in the Spirit
August 29, 2017

Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:1-15

But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” ’ God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:
This is my name for ever,
and this my title for all generations. –Exodus 3:13-15

What did Moses know about God or even the Israelites? Did he know who Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were? Raised in an Egyptian palace, probably educated in Egyptian schools, was his history of his people complete? He apparently knew he was Israeli, but what did he know of Israel? Note Moses is not asking how to identify God to the Egyptians. His concern was acceptance by the Israelites. The stories of Moses’ birth and adoption by an Egyptian were possibly well known throughout the community, but that did not mean he was to be trusted or followed. He needed a sponsor, and he needed to prove his relationship with the sponsor.

How do people who are not being oppressed help those who are? How is confidence gained? How do any of us prove we are of God? I loved the book Hawaii and the movie created from it. The story of the missionaries was telling. Julie Andrews playing the missionary’s wife fell in love with the people of the island when she met them. She accepted them as they were and they welcomed her. She learned from them, and they learned of God’s love from her. Max von Sydow played the missionary, stern and unbending seeing evil everywhere. He was a scary and sad character dressed in his proper woolen suites on a tropical island.

There is much truth in the song titled; They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love.

Prayer: Lord as we attempt to do your justice, help our lives reflect our relationship with you. 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.

Equal and/or Equitable

shapeimage_5Eastertide
April 27, 2016

Scripture Reading: Psalm 67

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
   and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
   let all the peoples praise you. –Psalm 67:4-5

The United States was founded on a principle of equality for all and I support that and think it is a good thing. God seems to take it a step further. The Psalmist, quoted above, talks about our being judged with equity. Equity is defined as:

a free and reasonable conformity to accepted standards of natural right, law, and justice without prejudice, favoritism, or fraud and without rigor entailing undue hardship; justice according to natural law or right; a free and reasonable conformity to accepted standards of natural right, law, and justice without prejudice, favoritism, or fraud and without rigor entailing undue hardship : justice according to natural law or right*

Jesus addresses this in Luke 12:48b when he says, From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Our tax system is based on both of these principles. Sells taxes are charged equally to all who purchase. Our income tax system is based on equity. The challenge for our leaders now is discern the fairest way to raise enough revenue to prudently meet the common good. It is a very complex and difficult task. I invite all of us to spend time in prayer for our leaders who must make the final decisions of what needs to be equal and what needs to be equitable.

Prayer: Lord, be with each of our elected representatives. Write on their hearts the best ways not only to identify what is necessary for the common good but also to raise the revenue necessary to provide for the common good in equal and/or equitable ways that also reflect the common good. Amen.

*http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/Equity

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 
reserved.