Day 29: Sunday in the Fifth Week of Lent
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
….and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
….and to walk humbly with your God?
Some passages of scripture don’t require any comment. They only require that we listen with open ears and willing hearts.
The pairing of justice and kindness is important. This is not the justice of punishment proportionate to your crime. This is the justice that sees everyone fed, the cares for widows and orphans, that rescues those in danger and helps even your enemy when his donkey is fallen under its load. It is the justice of hospitality to strangers and protection to foreigners. This is the justice of leaving grain in your fields for the poor to glean rather than selling the sweepings of the wheat. This is the justice of Sabbath rest for your workers, slaves and donkeys. This is the justice that doesn’t wage war against fruit trees in the day that war is necessary.
This is the justice that doesn’t ask for privilege, that doesn’t take or offer a bribe, and sees Lazarus at the gate. This is the justice of forgiving one another, making peace, and bending to wash feet. This is the justice that is kindness and walking humbly, that is good and noble and true.
Baptism asks of us what God asks of all, but baptism makes this requirement of God undeniable. And in those waters we find also the mercy that gives birth to a willing heart.
in the waters of baptism you sent us forth as your witnesses.
Help us live your grace and compassion
to all you bring near us today.
– A prayer for the fifth week of Lent