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Monday, April 25, 2011

Righteous Labor

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

How does one be on the side of history?  By being on God’s side.  And what side is that?  It is the side that makes the disciplines of love central to all of its affairs—from government to business to the arts to science to education to religion to the nurture of families. The main question that confronts any society is how to realize the exigencies of love in all its institutions—especially in the tedious or severely exacting disciplines.  Of course, it must also come to an understanding of the manifestations and applications of love—which often cannot be reliably foreseen and predetermined, but sometimes are apparent only after the fact.  On-going developments require re-evaluation and corrective action—the work is never done.  All generations since Eden are summoned to labor.  Therefore, love is not a simple and readily prescribed solution.  It emerges from the matrix of life and involves structure as well as tone. It is also a science of the possible.  For example, it is all well and good to say that the absence of deprivation and shared abundance are products of a loving system, but it is certainly not obvious how this can be achieved even when the will is present.  And love, quite contrary to its sometimes reputation, requires reliable accountability.  The fruits of the spirit are not only abstractions, but also are embodied in concrete procedure and structure.  I believe there are right answers to all our problems, but I also believe that getting there will involve a lengthy process of arduous discovery.  The shinning New Jerusalem is a goal beyond a great divide.  Yet, God made us so that the struggle to get there though challenging is rewarding and full of achievement and happiness offsetting much unavoidable sorrow.

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