Make Our Just Cause Shine

Greetings on this snowy Saturday from Kentucky,
The reading in the Psalms today is one of my favorite passages and I find it quite applicable to my personal and social life. The rich meter and heart felt content of the Psalmist indicates wisdom flowing from a life lived in both the good times and the bad. David had his ups and downs, his struggle to last through the reign of Saul, and then becoming King, and finally as the King of Israel. He had his triumphs and made his mistakes. The scripture reveals a couple of them in a big way. God also forgave and helped David in spite of his humanity. His life is certainly one we should all look at and learn from. In fact, to really understand the 70 or so of the Psalms that he wrote, it helps to understand who he was and how he lived. You can find his story in the first chapter of I kings and in I Samuel 16 through the end of II Samuel. His story is also found through a good part of I Chronicles. The stories are rich and reveal a human side of someone that God exalted. It is awesome. At one point, God called David “a man after his own heart,” yet David fumbled, stumbled, and sinned against God. So, the stories really tells us something about the intentions of God toward us and His own marvelous plan especially designed for each of us. They are as diverse as there are grains of sand or stars in the sky. (see Genesis 12:1-3 and 15:1-6) Check out today’s passage taken from the “God’s Word for Today” paraphrase:
(Psalms 37:3) Trust the LORD, and do good things. Live in the land, and practice being faithful.
(Psalms 37:4) Be happy with the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalms 37:5) Entrust (commit) your ways to the LORD. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf.
(Psalms 37:6) He will make your righteousness shine like a light, your just cause like the noonday sun.
Can you see the progression in that? Now, I am not suggesting a “3 point sermon” or a 4 step self help formula for happiness, I just simply see a poetic progression that I believe the Holy Spirit inspired David to write. First, he says to Trust. In my mind that means that I need to look ahead in life, focuses on a vision for the future. Without a future there can be no trust. In the process of living out that vision, the result can be that I will do “good” things. That I will live in the land, in other words, be settled in my community, in relationship with others. Second, David says to be happy. A more familiar translation says for us to Delight in the Lord. If we do, God will enlighten us to the things that make us happy and deeply satisfied; a path to lasting peace. Third, he tells us to make a commitment. I have found that as I seek to live out this vision for the future, what makes the journey easier is to define the focus and then stick to it. I may not do things perfectly and even slide sideways into the ditch, but with a committed life, it is easier to head on up the path toward the end of this journey. The next point is my favorite. Lastly, David says that if I stick to these three principles in the abiding light of God, that God will make my “just cause” shine like the noon day sun. That is when the sun is the brightest. I find it totally cool that the God of Creation and the Lord of the universe leads me in a “just cause.” It is one that is specific to my life. God cares about what I care about, and he wants Justice for all people. He has one specific to your life. He also wants all people to follow Him on their journey through this process of maturity: Learning to trust, growing to be happy, and living out a solid commitment.

May God radicalize your life this week with love and power!
Timothy

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About Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

Disciple of Jesus Christ with a Progressive Message, Author, Franciscan Friar, Musician, Social Activist, and Urban Missionary View all posts by Friar Timothy, Franciscan Urban Mission, INC.

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