This morning as a community of faith we read and pondered the following words from Proverbs 31.8-9:
Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
As the morning went along, I couldn't get those words out of my mind. I find it fascinating that often when we think about the faith, we have such a personalized approach. In essence we are taught that it is all about us - our faith, our obedience, our holiness, our right relationship with God. I think what all too often gets left out is the deeper reality that we have been freed and made whole in order to do something. When we step out of the darkness and into the light, we become people of the light. Our lives are to be lived for the cause of the light - the kingdom of heaven.
Now when we think about being "people of the light" - too often we envision the task as being something akin to the moral police, calling out "darkness" where we find, making sure that people know that we are "light." Yet I'm challenged by the words from this morning, and others that we find in the scriptures. If we are to be "people of the light" our lives are to be spent for the cause of the light, to bring more light into this world. So I've been thinking lately...
What it our calling as followers of Jesus is more about incarnation than mere proclamation? What if the way of Jesus was more about the things we stood for, rather than the things we stand against?
What challenges me as I read the scriptures, especially the prophets, is what grieves the heart of God about his people. It was not their theology per se, but their lack of care and attention for those in their midst who had no voice. It was about justice, as much as it was about holiness. It was about the widow and the orphan, the foreigner and the poor in their midst. These were the things that were to mark the people of God.
I wonder what he would say about us today? I wonder what a prophet of God might say to us today?
I bet his message would get the same welcome as the prophets of old.