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Are the Works of Our Hands Faithful and Just?

October 12, 2019

Rocky can be an amazing teacher if we but give her a chance. The Psalms come alive (I lift up my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.) when I spend time in God’s creation. Spending time with this Bull Elk in the meadow on Old Fall River Road was an inspiration.

Pondering Psalm 111 and the story of the ten lepers from Luke’s Gospel this week has been interesting. We were at a denominational conference at Montreat in North Carolina. CoInspire was the name of the conference and the “sub-title” was Liberating Imagination, Eviscerating Racism. Needless to say there was a lot to learn and a lot that challenged the “status quo” of “White Privilege,” especially for a White Male.

Liberating imagination… if ALL of God’s children could imagine… Peace… Wholeness… Equality… Hope… a Future… it reminds me of John Lennon’s song Imagine… indeed, imagine if you can… the good news is that God can and does!

In Psalm 111:5-7 we read the following: He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

It is this sort of imagination that the Lepers in Luke 17:11-19 didn’t have. Isolated… looked down upon… treated as sub-human… condemned… they didn’t have much to hope for other than the scraps the people of the village would toss their way without making eye contact. How could they possibly imagine the Lord paying any attention to them. But Jesus did pay attention to them as he walked along the road. In an unusual response, Jesus commanded the lepers to present themselves before the priests. He didn’t touch them which was also unusual. Yet in their taking his command to heart, they were made whole!

Such wholeness meant a return to community. No longer would they be looked down upon. No longer would they be considered less than human. No longer would they be isolated from the community. They were made whole!

What is amazing is the fact that the Samaritan leper was the only one to return and give thanks to Jesus. A Samaritan… An Outsider… this one returned praising God as he fell prostrate at the feet of Jesus.

This once again takes me back to the work of this past week. The marginalized… my LGBTQAI+ family… my family who are Indigenous… my family who are People of Color…. They have been made outsiders for far too long now.

If the works of our hands are faithful and just, we need to look deep within our hearts and souls, dear reader. We need to look deep within and see how we can be a better instrument of God’s peace.

The closing line of Psalm 111 says that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The term fear in this context means “reverence.” To revere the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Such wisdom will indeed light the flames of imagination and eviscerate racism and any of the other -isms and phobias which people of privilege use to separate themselves from the ones whom God has created.

May we revere God enough to honor ALL those whom God has created. Can you Imagine such a world? By the grace of God I can!

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