November 5, 2009

What we are not...

helps us define who we are.

As I said in Tuesday's post, Jesus seems pretty clear about the stuff we should not do; the type of people we should not be. I always struggle with negative definitions. You could spend days defining what something is not, and not even be close to shoring up what it is. It seems to me that definitions of what we are not should help us define who we are.

And so that is, I think, what we will do at five15 this weekend. We will begin the work of defining who we are. And there seems no better place to begin that conversation than in the Psalm. It has a beautiful trajectory from negative to positive. It flows from sinfulness to redemption. In defining who God is, it defines who we are called to be.

[The LORD] gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
and food to those who hunger.

7 The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

8 The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.

And so we too are called to be justice seekers. We are called to feed he hungry and set the prisoners free. We are called to open the eyes of the (at least the spiritually) blind and lift up those who are laid low. Because we are the body of Christ. We are God's hands and feet and if we really believe that then we have no choice but to live into the work of God. As our prayer says, we are to be like him. Who we are is so much nicer than what we are not.

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