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Monday, 28 August 2017

"Promise... through the Righteousness of Faith."

Holy One, transform our hearts, that we may reveal the image in which we have been made, or at least, some small part of that image, so our world might be a little more kind, a little more just, a little more loving.

Romans 4:11-15
11He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, 12and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

1) "...he would inherit the world... through the righteousness of faith."  "...but where there is no law, neither is the violation."

2) "but where there is no law, neither is there violation,"  Really?  I would rather think that the law helps us recognize violation.  I rather see the importance of the law as one of the means by which we come to know right and wrong.  Is it the law itself that creates violation?  I'm not partial to a "God" that would create a law for the sake of our being able to brake it for the sake of God being able to reconcile us.  That sounds much too much like baiting.  I can't imagine God playing games like that.  That God would be cruel.  Rather, I feel the "law" and "scripture" in general help us to witness the contours of what is right and wrong.  But following the law too rigorously becomes an act of ego in itself.  "See, I'm following the rules better than you."  That is not the path of reconciliation, that is self-justification.  Right relationship with ourselves, each other, God and creation isn't a checklist.  It's a deepening of relationship, trust, faith in one another.  I was reading about Thomas Merton talking about a Butter Churn from India that has paddles that go back and forth.  He says, we think we are marching towards a more just world.  We take three steps forward and two steps back; we take 10 steps forward and 12 back; we take 20 steps forward and 30 back, and we get frustrated because we are getting further and further away from the goal.  But justice isn't a destination, its a deepening of the heart.  We aren't marching to justice, we are churning butter, each success and each failure is another churning, back and forth, deepening with each stride.

3) To let the humility of failure instruct.  Wow... lots of material here for instruction... failure to "meditate," failure to remain focused, failure to react calmly in crisis, failure to be kind...

"Holy One, instruct us, teach us humility that will increase our capacity for life."

Breathprayer: "Promise... through the righteousness of faith."

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