Learning to live in grace, justice, and mercy. A marvelous conversation.
This concept can’t be avoided in Scripture (though we do a good job of trying). The gospel, the Kingdom, is this simple (and yet, this difficult):
“How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Ps. 82:2-4)
Too often we have v. 2 down cold in our lives and practice. It is verses 3-4 we too often find ourselves failing.
The simplicity of the Kingdom of God is to keep our hearts and eyes and actions toward the marginalized. This is our great difficulty. We fail too often.
My reading has me in Micah for a few days and as I read it I get this picture of Israel that the prophets portray over and over. Israel is “weary” of serving God. They have some sense of obligation, but they are in love with the gods of the age and want to pursue other lovers. Yet, they know Yahweh is there and they need to “appease” him. The question becomes: “Okay, God, what do you want? What’s it going to cost me this time?”Continue reading “The downside of evangelical American Christianity”
The things I don’t get list just got a new number hit.Continue reading “The foolishness of lacking compassion”
I am still in the midst of lament over the jury decision last Friday. The officer who killed Philando Castile was acquitted. There is a sense of mourning, of lament, in our community and it needs to be felt. Continue reading “Can we return to a prophetic center?”
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed. (Ps. 30:6-7) Continue reading “The darkness and the dawn”
What the Lord “requires” of us is simple. We have complicated it. Continue reading “What does the Lord require?”
When our “hearts” (which is our English way of describing an ancient concept of the “deepest seat of our deepest emotions”) belong to Christ, there is such wonderful, beautiful change.
Paul describes it in Colossians 3:12-17.
When Christ rules the deepest seat of my deepest emotions, anger is shoved away and love takes its place. Bitterness is crushed and compassion flows in its place. No more resentment. Out flows mercy and kindness.
Let my life be filled with his glory and lived for his glory.
The God of the Old Testament is so mean. He’s violent. He’s vengeful. The “God I know” wouldn’t ever be that way. The “God I know” would be more like this:
“I know that you are a merciful and compassionate God, very patient, full of faithful love, and willing not to destroy.”
Yes, sir, give me the real “God I know.” Give me that “New Testament” God.