Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 9: Year 2
“Because the needy are oppressed, and the poor cry out in misery,” I will rise up,” says the Lord, “and give them the help they long for.” (Psalm 12: 5)
It seems that most of our readings for today talk about the cruelty of human kind. Perhaps even the Psalms do as well. But this verse of Psalm 12, verse 5 caused me to stand back and try to take a look at us from God’s point of view. God sees the oppressed, the poor, and the disenfranchised.
How do you think God does the heavenly work of restoration? My beloved of the Lord, God helps the oppressed and the poor who cry out in misery through us who believe in God. God works through us, for us. I pray God works through us for the peace and benefit of Ukraine.
God works through people who sometimes don’t even realize that their own souls believe in God. I have met them. They have good hearts and are full of loving kindness. These people give children from broken homes hope and love. They are friends to those who are alienated from so called “normal” people. Many agnostics are open to the movement of God and provide apostolic success for God in people by providing “them the help they longed for.” While God will sometimes work through people with little or no faith, God prefers to work through those of us with acknowledged faith.
In part, because of some bad preaching and dogmatic church doctrine, many have been turned away from what God wants them to do – that is to make a positive and loving difference in the world. God’s plan was revealed in the readings we have for today. Leaders picked for Moses tells the Israelites to brace themselves for what lies ahead in the reading from Deuteronomy; Paul reminds his listeners about their ancestry and that the blessings they have comes from the mercy of God. And our Lord Jesus continually rebukes religious leaders in our Matthew reading with the words, “woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.” Spiritual leaders must truly believe and walk the example of faith no matter what.
Too few us are doing the loving will of God. Beyond all this, our own Church History is filled with wars and murders as it proclaimed a loving leader who even forgave the man who nailed him to the cross. What happened? Where is God today? God is watching the poor and oppressed, and God is watching you and me. Are we going to rise up with God and give the oppressed the help they long for? I pray that we turn and really listen to the Holy Spirit and do the work of the Lord.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John