Scripture Reading: Judges 4:1-7
At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, “Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.” ’—Judges 4:4-7
I named this web address after Deborah because I value her as a person of action. If you read her whole story in judges, the violence may overwhelm you. It does me, and I do not condone it. What I am impressed with is Deborah’s seeing injustice and doing something about it. Our country seems to have self-righteously lost its moral center. What do I mean by that? I hear a lot of pontificating about what is wrong with our country from people who are caught up in sex scandals, business corruption, greed, and misuse of power. They seem to be under the impression, if they do something, it is right. Only what others do are subject to judgment and punishment. The sin described here is self-identified privilege, and it is epidemic in our land.
What shocks me most is the support given to the purveyors of such behavior by the people their actions probably hurt the most. The people who identify as privileged seem to be saying if you become like us all will be well as their supporters fall further and further into despair. We seem to be suffering from a collective case of being out of touch with reality. I keep remembering the children’s book, The Emperor’s New Clothing. We all need to read or re-read it.
How do we discern what is right, what is just? Jesus taught us that the most important guidance for righteousness is to love God and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. If loving oneself is the measure by which we must love others there is no place for privilege in our world.
Prayer: Lord, open our heart to your reality. Help us to see how what we do impacts others. Amen.