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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Whose Role is it?

I am reading Psalm 85 today. In the portion of the psalm at the end,
the singer says how it will be, how it will work when God has revived
us and the realm of God has come again:
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
...and it struck me that this pairing is the great pairing of God and
us. It helps to answer the question, "What is in God's power to
accomplish, to do? What is God's role? What is our part and what is
not our part?" In this poem, God is in the sky and we are on the
God: steadfast love
Us: faithfulness
God: righteousness
Us: peace
God: righteousness looks down from the sky
Us: faithfulness springs up from the ground
God: gives what is good
Us: our land will yield its increase.
So, we are not righteous - righteousness is not ours. Righteousness
belongs to God. Our response, our work, is to be faithful.
God's job is not to bring peace to the nations, that is the work of
Our role is to root ourselves in life, in the tangible, in the
ground. We are incarnate.
God is the one who gives what is good.
Our work is in rootedness, faithfulness, and peace. These are the
prerequisites for the relationship. All by itself, then, our land
will yield its increase.
Our work is to cultivate peace, faithfulness, and rootedness. Then
the soil in which we are rooted will yield spiritual, numerical, and
service fruits.