Thought for the Day: For the longest time, I did not like the word righteous or righteousness as I equated such words with self-righteousness. If there was one thing that irritated me within my own religion was the occasional sense of superiority, religious arrogance that bled into self-righteousness. Maybe I was bothered, in part, because I was so aware of my own failures and shortcomings in the faith (and I still am). But as I would come to understand, righteousness is synonymous in scripture with justice as the prophets spoke of justice. In fact, the prophetic poetry would often use the literary device of parallelism, saying the same basic thing two different ways to create heightened awareness and importance. Righteousness and justice were set side-by-side in this parallelism, as we find in the Prophet Amos, “…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (5:24). In his most impassioned sermon, Jesus made it clear that those who were denied the righteousness of God (and you could add the justice demanded by God) were not going to be forgotten. It becomes an indirect question to his listeners (and to us): Will you stand on the right(eous) side, the side of God’s justice?
Prayer: For those of us who believe we can remain uncommitted to the work of righteousness and justice, O Lord, we request for you to create within us an appetite for a life that is lived for your just and right kingdom. Amen.
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