“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”
I grew up in Maine. To put that into a regional context- I lived next to the Atlantic Ocean (about 30 mins away), a few mins away from the second largest lake in Maine (Sebago Lake), and hundreds of ponds, small lakes, and countless streams and rivers. While many things growing up were constantly in scarcity-water was never one of them. Oh, and we also had a well.
I don’t believe that I ever saw a sprinkler system until I moved to Colorado. In New England, you just don’t need them. Between the snow in the winters and the spring melting, the rain in the spring and the summer and the fall, and the constant moisture with humidity…your grass was pretty green on its own. The real challenge was only keeping up with the lawn mowing!
Ironically enough, Jenna (my wife) grew up in Colorado and her family was and is in the water business. I continued to learn just how precious of a resource this H2O actually is! I guess I just assumed it grew on trees…!
Here out west water is obviously much scarcer. We understand how the author is explaining the importance of water and likewise when you find a river running well and a stream flowing without failing-the comparison to our call to justice and righteousness as believers can aptly be framed.
As Christians we are called to defend the defenseless. This is particularly apt this week in our lectionary readings as Peter is given an opportunity to defend Jesus but instead shrinks away from his relationship. We do this often with the marginalized, people we don’t agree with, and the oppressed. We all have an opportunity to use our agency to defend but so often fail to let justice roll on like a river. Instead, it bottlenecks and dams up with our inability to spread God’s love abundantly through speaking and doing justice and living authentically with righteousness.
Here’s the good news. What was is never what must be.
Grace tells us that while, like Peter, we can deny Jesus and the resurrection with our unwillingness to speak up and act if necessary-we are constantly given new opportunities to live into our promise as followers of Jesus Christ.
There are people in our community, our church, our Arkansas Valley that need your witness, your testimony, your voice.
They need you to speak truth to them and with them. To speak YOUR truth so they can share THEIR truth with you.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
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Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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