Saturday, July 25, 2020
– Human Fatality Rate
– God’s Grace Coverage
– Percent of People to whom God Offers Grace
Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but whoever pursues evil will die.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Words of Grace For Today
Both these verses taken literally cannot be true.
For the first verse from Proverbs:
The mortality rate for all humans is 100%, also for people who live in righteousness.
Further, no one can live in righteousness, of their own doing. We all sin and cannot help but sin.
For the second from Matthew:
Any reasonable and sane appropriation of the history of humans will recognize that the people who hunger and thirst for righteousness continue, all through history, up to and including every today that comes our way, to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Righteousness from themselves is not possible, for we all sin, inevitably, and righteousness is not marked on a curve, it is an absolute. One sin and righteousness disappears from us.
Righteousness from others for those who thirst for righteousness is the same. Everyone else sins as well and righteousness disappears quicker than the rise of the sun at the summer solstice.
Righteousness as in justice based on truth is the same. Someone has to act with righteousness in order for justice based on truth to be possible, yet no one does 100% of the time, nor can anyone.
So what can these verses mean?
To begin we need remember the old, old story of Jesus and his love. We are reckoned to be righteous, not of our own doing, but because God replaces our pathetic sinful records with Jesus’ and God then reckons us to be righteous, again and again each day.
To be righteous is to live reflecting that gift of righteousness as we can.
It is clear: righteousness is to be alive, as God created us to be. And to sin is to die, bit by bit (sometimes large bits) until, though we walk and talk, we are dead inside.
As we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we cannot earn righteousness or accomplish it on our own, yet as we humbly confess our sin and trust God’s forgiveness we receive our fill of blessings. Actually God pours so many blessings on us that our cups run over, spilling blessings in our wake as we make our way in the world.
There we go: hungry and thirsty, and simultaneously filled over the brim with blessings.
There we go: living as God forgives us and blesses us, yet simultaneously dying as we inevitably sin.
How to live? Blessed, we live at peace with ourselves before God, yet agitated and active in the world, working to bring justice to more and more people, and continually humbly confessing our sins and our total dependence on God’s Grace.
Therefore we recognize others’ sins as encompassed by God’s Grace and we deal with them with compassion and clarity and forgiveness … and hope.