I write today’s meditation on a South African public holiday known as “Women’s Day.” As I write, people march in one of our major cities against the abuse of women and children. The cry goes up from people of faith, “How long, Lord?” How long before women and children are treated with love and respect? How long before those who abuse others are brought to justice?
The psalmist cries out to God wanting to know when God’s anger will be turned against the nations that have destroyed Jerusalem, indeed all of Judah. The psalmist then pleads with God not to hold the wrongdoings of past generations against the people who have suffered so much at the hands of the Babylonians. The psalmist calls upon God to rescue the people of Judah and to blot out any memory of their sinfulness.
We believe in a God of justice, but we also believe in a God of love. This psalm calls us to a spirit of justice and love. There are times when we may feel as the psalmist that God should be roused to anger and bring an end to the oppression of people and the abuse of women and children. At such times our faith calls us to remember that God has shown us another way in Jesus, the way of love and right living. Following the way of Jesus, we can demonstrate to the world what it means to love and to act justly.
We turn to you, God of love, and call upon you to bring an end to oppression and abuse. Help us, as your people, to act with love and in a spirit of justice toward anyone we meet. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The “weeping prophet” grieves for the plight of his people. They have provoked God’s judgment by following foreign gods, and now there is no comfort to be found. The psalmist cries out to God from a similar situation of despair. Foreign nations have overrun the land, destroyed Jerusalem, and killed many of its people. The psalmist cries out to God for compassion and restoration. The author of First Timothy gives his readers two commands. They should pray for and honor their leaders, and they should be faithful to the one true God, with whom they have a relationship through Christ Jesus. Jesus in Luke tells a strange parable about a dishonest manager who is commended for his shrewd business sense, but Jesus turns his story to a teaching about good stewardship.
Read Jeremiah 8:18–9:1. When have you called out to God in your distress?
Read Psalm 79:1-9. As you search after a solution to life’s problems, how do you demonstrate God’s call to love and to justice?
Read 1 Timothy 2:1-7. How do you pray for your local, state or province, and national leaders with whom you agree? with whom you disagree?
Read Luke 16:1-13. How do you negotiate the complexities of Jesus’ call to be a good steward of your resources as you seek to serve God rather than money?
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