• Steven Marsh

Do What is Right: a Reflection on Psalm 10, Isaiah 56:1-8, Galatians 5:25-6:10, and Mark 9:14-29

Chris Matthews, a journalist on the MSNBC network, has a daily syndicated broadcast called “Hardball.” He takes the big political issues of the day and between his own thoughts, panels, and special guests, makes his case for what he believes the right position is or the right response should be.

From many of those who are religious, the times we are experiencing of renewed racism, economic disparity, and political scandals, the comment is often made that God is absent and even hiding himself from the tumult.

God does not hide. Religious people have become more cynical. What was true in the 6th century BC is still true today, justice must be maintained and people must do what is right. High standards yes. But without them, chaos reigns. Justice and doing what is right appear to no longer be at the forefront of our minds. Justice is not relative and doing right is not optional for religious people.

God is not absent. Justice and doing right amongst the people of my religion, Christianity, wanes. Why? It is more difficult to be just and do good than it is to go along for the ride on the “Clown Car,” Chris Matthew’s name for the extreme right, the “Tea Party” in the Republican Party. I agree that it is more difficult to be a thoughtful, persevering, and patient person of faith than it ever has been. Fear motivates and it motivates in scary ways. However, Jesus teaches us not to fear.

If we are guided by the Spirit there is no room for fear. Even Jesus taught his disciples that all things can be done for the person who believes.

Fear inhibits belief. And therein lays the problem for the “Clown Car” of the GOP and the “Clown Car” of Christianity.

To do what is right requires belief. May belief become the marker of the church again.

Scripture readings are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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