The crises of God’s people result from a crisis of faith. Despite fervent rituals of prayer, fasting, and submission, the faithful living that God desires does not occur. God is angry. Isaiah makes dramatic pronouncements that the religious rituals do not conform to God’s passion for justice, humility, liberation from oppression, and care for those who live in poverty.

How does such a crisis of faith occur? How do our rituals become empty of what God most wants? How do we know what God desires? Israel’s prophets continually reference the laws and covenants in their faith’s history as providing what is necessary for living the faith. In the ancestors’ history with God we come to know what is expected of us. Responding faithfully to God’s passion requires remembering.

The requirement to remember is not just about the ability to recite tenets of faith. Neither is remembering primarily about ritualizing the tenets. Living the faith involves enacting in our relationships with others what we remember from our faith heritage. Our faith is rooted in and nourished by commitment to justice, humility, freedom, and compassion for the poor.

Most often, we fail to live faithfully not because we have forgotten what must be remembered. Our failure arises from ignoring what we remember. We sanctify behaviors that value privilege over justice, domination over humility, status quo over liberation from oppression, and self-interest over compassion. Continuing on this path is untenable for people of faith and for society. Ignoring is unacceptable to God—so much so that God considers it as “rebellion” against the path of faith that God has traveled with us. To our numerous questions about God and the circumstances of our lives comes a clear response: God remembers us. And God desires for us to remember to live the faith and practice righteousness.

Help us, O God, to remember faithfully on our journey with you. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 5:13-20

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Leccionario Semanal
February 3–9, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

According to another counterfeit gospel, our inward convictions about God are enough, so our actions do not really matter. Isaiah chastises his audience for being half-hearted in their religious observance. They ignore the plight of the oppressed and the poor, and by doing so they betray that they do not grasp the heart of God. The psalmist argues that the true faithful are steadfast and generous, and as a result God establishes them and their cause. The understanding of God’s view of the world, Paul writes, must be spiritually discerned, for it opposes the normal thinking of the world. In Matthew, Jesus tells his followers that living faith is shown by bringing flavor and light to the world. Otherwise, our faith is useless to those around us.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Isaiah 58:1-12. What can you do to be a foundation of many generations, the repairer of the breach for your community?
Read Psalm 112:1-10. How have you seen God’s blessings abound from your faithfulness? How do you remain faithful when God’s blessings seem absent?
Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. Consider the many ways wisdom comes. How do you seek to understand God’s wisdom?
Read Matthew 5:13-20. When does your faith community resist the call to be the salt of the earth and light of the world? How can you transform yourself or those around you to fulfill God’s commandments?

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