Toward righteousness

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May 14, 2018

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Nancy Almquist ends with a prayer suggestion: “Lord God, forgive me when I act alone, working toward righteousness as if I am the one responsible for your view of me as holy.”

I’ve been thinking about Nancy’s words, about what she’s suggesting: some of us have replaced faith with a kind of anxiety. We’ve become convinced that if we don’t work hard enough and in the right direction, we might lose God’s attention – we might lose God’s love.

Is that even possible? To lose God’s love? Of course not. But as Nancy points out, the fear remains – the fear that God doesn’t really love us and won’t unless we fulfill a particular set of character traits and achieve a specific list of behaviors.

We want to make right choices, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing good. But the point of righteousness, according to Nancy, is that it’s like a breastplate – a piece of armor – that we can put on. In Isaiah 59, God “looked and was displeased that there was no justice” (v. 15), so God “put on righteousness as his breastplate” (v. 17). Paul writes that this same armor of God has now been made available to us, as a gift, that we, too, might go into the places where there is no justice “with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14).

God’s righteousness covers us. God’s righteousness protects us. Nancy writes that this is how “we have received righteousness as a result of God’s grace.”

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

Last week, I wrote about the seeds of hope at the center of what it means to be Quaker. And I wrote about seeds of hope – the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget.

In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $26,325 by June 1, 2018. As of this morning, we have raised $25,355 in gifts and pledges. Thank you for your continuing support!

Click here to read more about seeds of hope.


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