Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land…Psalm 68:5-6
This passage comes from our psalm lection for this weekend. The full psalm is very, very human in its prayerful requests of God to destroy enemies. Though humans have done this throughout history, Christ has proven to us that is not God’s desire for us.
Interestingly, however, God’s true purposes do sneak into the midst of the author’s writing. These famous phrases above, that pop up repeatedly throughout scripture, make an appearance. In the Hebrew Bible, this is a description often given of who God is: the God of the lost and forgotten, the broken and the unwanted.
Even though God is the Creator of everything and is the God of everyone, our God intentionally chooses to make this God’s central modus operandi. And Jesus proves this point, in spades.
Here is what this repetitive explanation of God’s self teaches us: if we are made in God’s image, then we are meant to champion God’s causes, too.
Caring for the poor. Fighting for the disenfranchised. Even better, empowering those without power to have a voice. Ensuring those ignored by society have what they need. Visiting those in prison and who are sick. Working tirelessly to see that God’s desired vision of life may come true – with medical, educational, economical, and social needs all met.
Christ does not just worry about our spiritual well-being. No, God cares about life in this world, too. And especially ensuring that those without have what they need.
This is our call and our charge: to follow where God and Christ lead. It may not always be easy to live into, but it is meant to be our goal.
Because, as we learn from our Lord, love is always meant to be fleshed out.
Blessings, Pastor Janie