December 1
Gwen Gotsch

Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4


Give, maintain, rescue, deliver — these imperative verbs are the first things I noticed in these verses from Psalm 82. Imperative verbs are commands or directions, and the subject of the verbs — who should do these things — is implied: it’s you, the person being spoken to.

Children hear lots of imperatives: wake up, do your homework, practice your piano lesson. The authority of parents and teachers stands behind these directives, and these adults also help children fulfill them.

Who is issuing the commands in Psalm 82? No surprise, it’s God, who has ultimate authority to judge the earth, “for all the nations belong to you!” (v. 8).

So where does God’s authority come from? And how and where do I recognize God’s authority? I know from catechism lessons that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere. But how does God’s awesome and overwhelming power connect me to caring for the weak and the needy?

I feel God’s pull on my heart and my actions most when I consider God as Creator, the One who spoke into being a world where all can flourish. That world is broken by human willfulness, but God’s love for me makes me want to respond wholeheartedly to the command to give justice and to care for the weak and needy. God has given me an example to follow in Jesus, who entered human brokenness in order to restore the relationship between creatures and Creator. And God’s daily grace brings me joy, humility and wisdom as I strive to be part of the redemption of all creation.

Creating and redeeming God, help me live for others every day, bringing your love to all. Amen.

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