Same Old, Same Old

Readings: Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:5-12; Philippians 1:12-18a

Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterer, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O Children of Jacob, have not perished.

Malachi 3:5-6 NRSV

The message of the prophets doesn’t vary: stop mistreating my neighbors, especially those in need. Honor the God who created the whole universe (including you and me). Do these, and I will live a holy, blessed life – not necessarily an easy life, but a blessed and holy one.

To do more than half-listen to such words, I’ll have to start with God (that’s what fear the Lord means). When I recognize that God holds me fast, that I can’t possibly be lost to God even when I’ve managed to lose myself, I just might be able to see through illusion, be a steadfast friend, speak the truth, pay my fair share to those who earned it, help those in dire straits, and welcome strangers into the community. I might just have enough about me to see in others the holy face of Jesus.

God will always be God, no matter what mess I make of my life and the world. I will always have a home with God. And so will everyone else – the holy truth that can turn us and this whole world around. As it was, it shall ever be.

Same old, same old. Thank God!

May my life be yours, O God, and a blessing to everyone I meet. Amen.

Published by

Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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