My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):
“I like it better when the pastor leaves politics out of the pulpit,” Mary said to me after church one day, when I asked her what she thought of the sermon. Mary is a pretty average, middle-class American. She lives a comfortable life, gives regularly to church, and even gives to some charities. She volunteers at the library, reading books to underprivileged children, and especially likes giving to organizations that help “those less-fortunate than I.”
That Sunday, the pastor’s sermon was not political in the sense that it talked about political parties. For Mary, the pastor was being political because he talked about the injustice in the world. He pointed out the inequality inherent in our way of life. He talked about the women who work long hours for little money to make our clothes and our electronics. He pointed out the brutal civil war raging in central Africa over the precious metals that power the batteries in our cell phones and laptops. He called on us to rethink our way of life, to vote with our dollars for equitable and sustainable products, and to speak out against the injustice in the world by calling on the companies we support to pay a living wage. He challenged us, saying, “Do you really need a new cell phone, just because your contract is up? Even though it means more mining in the Congo, and more violence to control precious metals?” And we squirmed in our seats.
Living in a country that represents the top 1% of the world, we don’t like to be reminded of economic injustice. We would like morality to be all about decisions regarding how we speak to our family and our coworkers, how we practice our sexuality, even whether or not we give money to church. But the Bible doesn’t let us off that easily. This entire passage is about economic justice, and the writer says bluntly: The evil don’t think about justice, but those who seek God understand it completely.
Thought for the day: According to Proverbs, those who keep God’s law struggle against the evil of injustice. What part are you playing in that struggle?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.