Today’s psalm of praise tells us two specific and related things about God: God is near, and God is just.
God is as close to us as our very next breath. The Hebrew word ruach can mean breath, wind, or spirit. If you sit on a bench and watch a tree for a moment or two, you will soon see the breeze catch the tree and shift its leaves. This sort of watching can be peaceful because it reminds us of the ever-present nature of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
As we can trust in God’s nearness, we can trust God’s actions to be oriented toward truth, justice, and love. We can understand justice as the way things are meant to be. Justice, then, seeks to make things right in our world. We can rest in knowing that God works toward justice and truth. Knowing this can empower us to work for the good in the world too. Orienting our lives toward justice and God’s piercing truth creates a way of living in us that arises from the depths of our being, the place where we unite with God in God’s own goodness.
We sing praises to God and we honor God with the way in which we live our life. When we rest in the truth that we are a part of God’s great creation—when we walk in God’s ways—we can release the worries of our own needs and focus on the needs of others. It is a beautiful thing to get to a place of trust that the divine embrace of God’s love is great enough to be enough for us all.
God of justice and truth, draw us into this work with you. Use us to aid you in making all things new. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will pass on the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you had to rely on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How do you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the ways God will answer your questions in unexpected ways?
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