Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
Righteousness. We tend to think of people who are self-righteous when we hear that word. Holier-tan thou, good two shoes, spiritual snobs, puritanical. Maybe even someone who’s “so heavenly-minded they’re no earthly good.”
But Jesus has a different perception of righteousness. Set-right-ness. Restored to the good way God intended it to be. Often righteousness and holiness are paired together, holiness being about how we live in relationship to God, and righteousness in relation to how we live with other people. Concepts like fairness, compassion, justice, and kindness come into play with righteousness.
In this day in age when civil injustice and discord are daily found in the news, it can seem like righteousness is a long way off. How much worse for those who bear the brunt of unrighteousness – counted guilty until proven innocent simply because of the hue of one’s skin; left out in the cold of financial stability because one isn’t part of the 1%.
But Jesus promises a day when those who deeply longing for justice, restoration, and goodness for all will finally be accomplished. Indeed, such a person is counted blessed now, despite lacking a world set right! Because in Christ, all things are counted restored and complete in him. He starts that restoration now through the gift of his Spirit. And one day he will share that restoration with all of creation when he returns.
Gracious Lord, thank you for the promise that all wrongs will one be set right in mercy. Amen.