Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Foreigner, Widow and Orphan
Leviticus 25:35 - 46
If any of your kin fall into difficulty and become dependent on you, you shall support them; they shall live with you as though resident aliens (Lev 25:35).
 The caption which implies a God with partiality, quite understandably, may not find favour with some of the readers since we have minds conditioned by the traditional idea about a God who is impartial - a God who doesn't take sides. We have been taught for long that taking sides is evil and hence cannot fit into the nature of a 'Just God'.
We need to understand two things here. (1) Impartiality is not a virtue by itself. On the contrary, it can turn evil since one can become absolutely ineffective and useless if one fails to take a stand where required. Taking stand obviously suggests taking sides - you are 'for' something and surely you are 'against' something else. This is something that we all do or we ought to do. If you do not stand for something you may fall for anything , so goes the saying.Impartiality is a negative virtue. God does take stands and hence not impartial. There is a Divine Partiality. (2) God' partiality does not contradict His nature . His nature of love is not against his nature of taking sides. Infact , it is His love that compels Him to be 'partial'. His love finds superb manifestation when He takes sides with the poor, weak and the defenceless. The Bible has references and instances in plenty revealing God taking sides for the cause of the poor and weak.
The text for today vividly portrays God's concern for the poor,widows and the alien. Jubilee year is the final proclamation of freedom to anyone in poverty or slavery. God vehemently demands the rich and the powerful to open their hearts for the poor and the weak and He also holds the stand that the concern for the poor is not a condescending act of sympathy but a genuine response to the demands of love for others. If Christian discipleship is following Jesus Christ taking our own cross, that cross is the pain we willingly receive for the sake of others . It is a pain that springs up from sharing the Divine Partiality - an effort to be with God where He is.
Lord our God, shake us out of our complacency and embolden us to be with you where you are, Amen.
God's heart has a place for the outcast.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church