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Righteousness

July 25, 2020

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Hunger and thirst. Our bodes are hardwired to create these feelings to remind us that we need to eat and drink. To ignore them is to lead to increasing discomfort and eventually death. We need food and drink to survive.

When Jesus sat down to teach along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, he invoked hunger and thirst to teach about something else: righteousness. Righteousness is a common theological concept, usually wrapped up in human projects to become “right.” Right with God, self, the universe, whatever. Righteousness is something for which we should hunger and thirst.

We, however, can never get there on our own. We’re too far gone in sin (which is not really a theological concept as much as it is a description of what we see from our open windows and, insofar as we are honest, within our own hearts). The Christian faith is not a new spin on the old story of how we can get right with God. It is the new proclamation that we are already right with God for the sake of Christ. In his dying and rising, Christ covers us with his righteousness. We are “right” because God says so.

But we should stay hungry! If we need not worry about our own righteousness, we suddenly find ourselves free to thirst for the righteousness of the world around us. We can join in God’s loving project of setting the world back to rights. We can heed the call of Jesus to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovers of sight to the blind, and freedom to the captives.

You are right with God because God is right with you. Your thirst has been quenched with the water of life, your hunger met with the gifts of the Lord’s table. In this fullness, stay hungry for righteousness; work for its increase in the world. In this way we participate in God’s Kingdom of life today.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Holy God, you call us to live in right ways. In Christ, you make our righteousness a reality. Help us to live now for the benefit of others, that our lives may be a blessing to them. Make us mindful especially of those who hunger and thirst for food and water, that we may minister to their needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: The Church of the Beatitudes by the Sea of Galilee. Photo by me, August 16, 2017. Oh travel, how I miss thee.

From → COVID-19

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