On the side of the vulnerable

I’ve been reflecting on Matt Robbins’ sermon last Sunday, based on Ruth 2 where God’s righteousness to the “quartet of the vulnerable” (poor, foreigners, widows and orphans) is enacted by Boaz to Ruth, who is allowed and assisted to generously glean in his fields. If you play word association with the average secular person and say "righteousness," most people are going to think "buzzkill." The word seems irrelevant to them, tied to religiosity long left behind or scorned.

But do you know who longs for righteousness? The vulnerable and weak, because sins are committed against them. The woman who is being verbally, emotionally, sexually, or physically abused by her spouse longs for righteousness. She longs to not be treated that way. The guy at work who is used and misused and cast out when he’s not needed longs for righteousness and justice on earth. Victims of discrimination, made hopeless by systemic injustice that seems to them undeviating and perpetual, long for righteousness.

These people need to hear and see that old wounds can be healed, that the world can become more just. What seems impossible to change IS being changed in the faithful people of God. The world that seems to coldly reject them is giving way to a new world in which the last shall be first. God’s righteousness WILL be fully realized in His Kingdom. May we be abounding in love and kindness, always looking for opportunities to bring good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, and pronounce liberty to the captives.

Grace and peace,

Anita Sorenson
Pastor for Spiritual Formation