What's important to God
Psalm 146:5-10 tells some of the things God cares about. God "executes justice for the oppressed . . . [and] gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind."
Where the hungry are not being fed, someone or some thing is opposed to the will of God, preventing God's perfect plan from happening. Where the oppressed are not receiving justice, someone or some thing is opposed to the will of God, preventing God's desires from being accomplished. In those cases, the people of God are called to step in and see that God's will is done on earth.
Not everyone realizes that God's plan can be opposed for decades (or longer!). When Israel escaped slavery in Egypt, God wanted the people to enter the promised land. But they didn't have faith they could accomplish such a thing, and they rejected God's perfect plan. God had to wait a generation until their children received the blessing God desired for the parents.
In one of the petitions of the Lord's Prayer we ask God "Let your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven." Martin Luther explains this in the small catechism saying, "The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us."
When we see a place where there is not enough justice, that is the call of God for us to take action. Where we see a place where there is not enough mercy, that is the call of God for us to show some. Where we see a place there is not enough faith, that is the call of God for us to encourage those who lack.
Jesus said little things of faith matter and we should do them, but it is important to not neglect the weighty things that really count: justice, mercy and faith.
Let your kingdom come, God, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Thank you. Amen.
Verses to study:
- Malachi 3:10-12
- Matthew 23:23-24
- Psalm 146:5-10
- James 1:26-27
Bible verse to memorize
Psalm 146:5-8a (NRSV)
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
Reflection question for the week
How will you focus on what’s important to God – justice, mercy and faith – this week?