Monday 18th December

O Adonai (O Lord)

But with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. Isaiah 11:4a

adonaiThere was a great cartoon which I saw not so long ago which had three men trying to look over a wall. They were different heights and only the taller one could see. The next panel was each of them standing on a box, so now two of them could see, and the caption was “Fairness”. The third panel was the taller man standing on the ground, the middle man on one box and the shorter man on two boxes and the caption was, “Equality”.

The cartoon was not about the words themselves but about the principle of sharing things. We know from the Bible that God is an advocate for the poor and marginalized. In Isaiah God rails against the people, through the prophet, because they are doing all the right “religious things”, keeping ceremonies and rituals whilst the poor around them suffer.

God judging the poor does not mean a negative judgement but rather a positive redress of the inequality which they have faced, in the words of the Song of Mary in Luke’s Gospel, “he has exalted the humble and meek, and the rich he has sent empty away”.

There is an aspect of generosity which we must follow but in order to be those who emulate the character of Christ we have to go beyond giving and ask some tough questions. Looking at our own lives and recognizing our privilege is challenging, but again and again Jesus demanded that these hard questions be taken seriously and that where one person’s fortune demanded another person’s suffering because of the structures of society then there is a problem.

Lord, at the season of giving, help me to recognize the need around me. Give me a generous and giving heart. Give me grace and strength to follow you as Lord and to seek an equal share for all people. Amen