Proverbial Profundity | November 24, 2016

On this thanksgiving day, I have recollections of past moments with family and close friends. I have the present gathering to look forward to as we eat and enjoy each other’s company. And I have the ongoing Dakota pipeline issue running through my mind that never lets me be at complete ease. All three consume me and led me to this proverb.

“To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice” (21:3).

Thanksgiving tends to consist of our menu desires to usually make it past the chopping block. Television has been so kind as to not present scheduling conflicts that force us to choose between football games. The dessert platter is arrayed with so many options it’s hard to be picky. And usually there’s space for movies, games, small talk, and napping to be had. These are all the things we, humanity, desires. And like I said we usually get what we want.

But what about what the creator of humanity desires? Does his list ever get reviewed, passed out to all, discussed, and then done? Or does such a day exclude the created from obeying the creator?

On days like today, we can (and should) list out all the things we’re thankful for as it goes with the tradition. But I beg to insert something that America and Christians in America have never made a tradition – go do righteousness and go do justice more than you go do sacrifice.

Sacrifice isn’t easy. Please don’t hear me say that is. We always all the time want things to go our way on our timing. So to give a little or not push so hard for your way is a form of sacrifice. But the Lord desires righteousness and justice more than that. Can you fathom what that could mean? Quite possibly it could mean being aware audibly and being visibly and mentally available to hear of needs and go meet them. Those needs can require both the righteousness of God and the justice of the law.

Far too hard to pin down one exact thing we could do. That’s why this proverb is profound. It’s calling for servants of God to go serve in the areas of righteousness and justice for all. I hope this is something we can learn to be thankful for as we take every opportunity to go do it.


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