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Image credit: J Cathcart

Hole-y Systems

There has been a lot of talk about systems in the news lately. Systems of government, systems of justice, systems of change. At what point do we lose sight of the people in the systems because the systems themselves are so broken that they require all of our attention? I have no miracle system in mind, but you do not need to know the cure to see a thing might be broken.

In this reading the psalmist extols God as a bringer of justice and an advocate of rules. Which I believe God is, but I do not believe that God is an upholder of people’s rules. God’s upholds God's rules: a much more creative, compassionate and forgiving set of rules. Here the psalmist does what we all do which is to be in the world and interpret God’s words through the lens of our own time and place, our own rules and systems.

Systems and rules can seem overwhelming, to follow and to be a part of, but God offers us a way out from this overwhelming feeling: Jesus. Jesus is our example and to Jesus we must look for guidance. Jesus kept many human rules and laws of his day but to defend and uphold people he broke others. He lived within many systems of his time but spoke aloud their flaws and questioned their values and bias.

 

God of justice and forgiveness,

We are who we are and we were born when and where we were born.

Help us to see our time and place through your eyes,

Lead us to Jesus’s example and guide us with your spirit to bring your light and hope and justice to our neighbourhoods and to the world.

Amen.

Psalm 99

1 The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble!
    He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
    Holy is he!
4 Mighty King, lover of justice,
    you have established equity;
you have executed justice
    and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Extol the Lord our God;
    worship at his footstool.
    Holy is he!

6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel also was among those who called on his name.
    They cried to the Lord, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his decrees,
    and the statutes that he gave them.

8 O Lord our God, you answered them;
    you were a forgiving God to them,
    but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
9 Extol the Lord our God,
    and worship at his holy mountain;
    for the Lord our God is holy.

Lent Discipline

WEEK 1: Every day this week read Psalm 51. Each time you read it consider what words stand out for you on that day.

 
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