open eyes for justice

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Open eyes for justice: 

Open eyes for justice with Gideon Strauss

psalm readings: 

psalm readings Eugene Peterson, Working the angles and Answering prayer Walter Brueggemann, Spirituality of the Psalms Thomas Troeger, Rage! Reflect. Rejoice!: Praying With the Psalmists Calvin Seerveld, Rainbows for the fallen world (Introduction, on psalm 19)


“The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder … . Shalom … is the way things ought to be.” Cornelius Plantinga, Not the way it’s supposed to be (1995)


“Sin is culpable shalom-breaking.” Cornelius Plantinga, Not the way it’s supposed to be (1995)


“When we sin, we pervert, adulterate, and destroy good things. We create matrices and atmospheres of moral evil and bequeath them to our descendants. By habitual practice, we let loose a great, rolling momentum of moral and spiritual evil across generations. By doing such things, we involve ourselves deeply in what theologians call corruption.” Cornelius Plantinga, Not the way it’s supposed to be (1995)

Psalm 1 (translated by Calvin Seerveld): 

Psalm 1 (translated by Calvin Seerveld) The heavens are telling the glory of God; the very shape of starry space makes news of his handiwork. One day is brimming over with talk for the next day, and each night passes on intimate knowledge to the next night – there is no speaking, no words at all, you can't hear their voice, (but) – their glossolalia travels throughout the whole earth! their uttered noises carry to the end of inhabited land! God set up a tent for the sun at the ends of the earth – have you seen the sun?! beaming forth like a bridegroom from his marriage-bed! The sun laugh's joyfully like a strong man glad to run a race: it circles over and around to the (other ) ends of the sky – nothing is able to hide from its burning heat. The leading (torah) of the Lord God Yahweh is utterly reliable, bringing people back to life again! The magnificent testimonies of Yahweh prove themselves to be everlastingly true, making inexperienced young people wise. The commanding words of Yahweh are truly straightening, causing one's heart to laugh and be glad! A task imposed by Yahweh is bound to be integrally whole, making one's eyes shine (with insight). Fear of the Lord God Yahweh is cleansing: it stands up for ever and ever. The ordering judgements of Yahweh are firmly true – Amen! The Lord's fiats all together are thoroughly just – more desirable than gold, yes than much fine gold, sweeter than honey, yes than natural honey of the honeycomb. Let me, your servant, also be warned by these (ordinances, Lord), for in keeping them much good results – who can discern (all one's) errant missteps?! O (Lord!) set me free from the spoilsome sins kept hidden from my notice! And please hold me back from every overweening presumption – I am your servant, (Lord!) – do not ever let self-confidence push me around: then I will (finally) be able to be unpretentiously blameless, rid of all the guilt-making rebelliousness . . . Let the sayings of my mouth and the inarticulate groanings of my heart be something acceptable in front of your face, O Lord God, my rock! the One who always comes through to set me free from my bondage!

Psalm 8 (The Message) : 

Psalm 8 (The Message)  1 God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name.  2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;       toddlers shout the songs    That drown out enemy talk,       and silence atheist babble.  3-4 I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,       your handmade sky-jewelry,    Moon and stars mounted in their settings.       Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,    Why do you bother with us?       Why take a second look our way?  5-8 Yet we've so narrowly missed being gods,       bright with Eden's dawn light.    You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,       repeated to us your Genesis- charge,    Made us lords of sheep and cattle,       even animals out in the wild,    Birds flying and fish swimming,       whales singing in the ocean deeps.  9 God, brilliant Lord,       your name echoes around the world.

Isaiah 58 (excerpt): 

Isaiah 58 (excerpt) 6 Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?     7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?     8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.     9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.     If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,     10 and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.     11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

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