Fullness. The better way. A beatitudinal way—filled as we hunger and thirst for righteousness. What is righteousness if not doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Justice for whom if not the widow, the sojourner, the fatherless—the vulnerable, the marginalized, the oppressed. Mercy for whom if not the outcast, the sick, the desperate, the notorious sinners and betrayers.
Fullness is not something we do for ourselves. It is the transformation of spirit that happens within as we learn to love God by loving others. As we pour out, we are filled. As we surrender to the “enduring ethic of love,” as Reverend Barber says, we are freed. From self-seeking first and foremost. This, the heaviest burden and the root of fear.
In this last segment of our series, Reverend Barber with 800 years of preaching in his family lineage, calls the church back to the heart of a conservative way.
Only through the self-emptying of ache, awakening, solidarity, repentance, and reordering, is filling possible. This, an ancient call the church needs to hear afresh. We needn’t be tossed and swayed, despairing and dismayed. We can hold. We can trust. “Because some things with God never change,” says Rev. Barber.
This series is a modern treatment of ancient teachings to steady us through the seasons and any tempest the world may bring. May you grasp anew how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God for people not like you. We are called to solidarity. And mercy, not sacrifice. May we go and learn what this means.
What is the justice you long to see and how can you participate in it? Who are the hated, hurting, and neglected in need of mercy in your city, town, neighborhood and how can you show it?
May God give us wisdom and fill us with love as we learn live fully and in solidarity with one another.