Loving vs. Right

A reading for Monday, December 5, 2016: Psalm 51:1-12.

We confess our sins in the sure and certain hope that God is abundant in hesed which is a Hebrew word which we translate steadfast love. There really is no english word for hesed, the closest we can come is an unending and continual flow of love.

Our part is confessing the ways we have fallen short of God's image for creation, and God's part in response, according to scripture, is forgiveness because of hesed. It's the character and nature of God.

Each time we are forgiven we hear God say to us that God would rather be in relationship with us than for us to be condemned. God would rather be loving than be right. As God's people, if this is who God is, then this is our mandate too...

Yet it seems that we still struggle for hesed. Not only for a word that means steadfast love but also a way of living our faith that insists on relationship over righteousness. We are still divided up over right theology, and right practice, and right service and right participation. Lots of Christians, it seems, would rather be right than be loving. It is the exact opposite of the way God interacts with us.

Each time we insist on being right, condemning others as wrong, we do not incarnate the very hesed we have received from God. We separate ourselves not only from each other but also from God, who remains always ready to forgive and welcome us back into relationship. So we continue to confess:

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.''

Transform us O God into the hesed you desire for the world! Loving vs. right!


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