My first experience with Micah 6 in our lectionary readings is a praise song from Maranatha! Music while I was in college. I’ve since come see to see it as one of the cornerstone OT passages that spurs us to justice, mercy, and humility.
In our lectionary readings, Isaiah opens our eyes once again how the promises of God’s salvation not only enlighten us spiritually, but bring us joy as we hope for the future.
Two homiletical endeavors this week. First, this Sunday’s lectionary readings took us through Isaiah’s hopeful promise of salvation for those on the fringes of life.
Second, today, we honored the life and faith of St Francis’ own, Laura Revello at her memorial.
(Reposted due to uncertainty of original post being published.)
This last week of Advent, as we prepare in our lectionary for the coming of our Savior, we come across Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18, in which we long for the restoring hand of the promised messianic king. Jesus alone fulfills those hopes both now and in eternity, and as we experience his restoring power, we his people become the means by which others get to the see the undeniable hope of the he King who once came in humility but will soon come in glory.
From the New York Times.
Some time ago I shared that the election had caused me to dig a bit more in Christian political ethics to be better prepared for the swift changes on the ground politically. Now, more than ever, it seems a forceful, vocal Christian apologetic for basic ethics in democracy is needed. This is not about partisan ideas, but ensuring fair play and stable institutions that can balance the needs for security, civil liberties, and just structures in a free society.
I am happy to see the brazen attempt by Congress to gut the Ethics Office was stemmed off in a groundswell of popular support. But that alone will not stop people in power from doing injustice. Recently the House dusted off an old rule (the Holman Rule) in an attempt to reduce targeted civil servants’ salaries to $1/year. This thinly cloaked form of economic retribution for those who don’t toe partisan lines who are simply doing their job without regard to the whims of politics cannot stand scrutiny.
Christians have a responsibility to advocate for the last, the least, and the lost-not just preach to them or do good deeds for them. Thus, a follower of Jesus must be ready to do whatever lies in his or her power to oppose injustice, to speak up for righteousness, and-when the need arises-to be a gadfly that agitates unjust systems by means of peaceful civil disobedience. The NRA and the Tea Party, for example, have made significant inroads by adopting practices originally tested in the battle for civil rights in the 1960s. Flooding congressional offices with phone calls (even more than letters or emails!), consistently standing up publicly and saying “no” whenever legislation or policy ideas arise that oppose your core principles-these are historically proven methods of opposing unwanted change used by the left and the right.
No matter one’s party affiliation or ideas about best practices regarding domestic and foreign policy, we should all agree that liberty can only be secured people accept responsibility and abide by common ethical principles in the pursuit of a just, fair, safe, and free society. Elected officials need to see their office as a trust for the common good, not a position of power to benefit cronies and punish critics. Rules and laws must be good for everybody, not just a select few. The vote, not the dollar, should determine the will of the people. And conflicts of interest, cronyism, and nepotism should be stamped out whenever they rear their ugly head. So do your part-be a good citizen of heaven by being an active citizen of your country!
This first Sunday after Epiphany, we launch into the ministry of Jesus, and discover the gentle justice he brings as the Messiah described by the prophet Isaiah.