Oil spill in the Gulf, financial crisis, housing crisis, economic problems, etc, etc—who shall we blame. We have to find out whose fault all this is. There are plenty of big corporations and big time money people from whom to choose. Let’s go get them. This feels like a 21st Century version of the end of the first chapter and beginning of the second chapter of Romans.
Paul lists off a series of problems sure to get the blood boiling in righteous indignation. Those hearing the letter read would be ready to go after all the people responsible for the problems. Then the beginning of what we in modern times designate as the second chapter—“Don’t judge!”
Seeking parties to bear the blame for any problem does not always lead to the solving of the problem. All that occurs is the waste of vast amounts of energy being spent getting angry, self-righteous, and deluded into thinking that we have achieved a solution. Please understand that I believe that justice must always be pursued, but not at the expense of solving problems and conflicts.
While we did not cause the spill of oil in the Gulf or single handedly collapse the global economic systems, we are dared to participate in the cleanup and restoration of what has happened. We are, as Christians, stewards of Creation and brothers and sisters in faith with those affected. Sitting back and waiting for some miracle will not bring about restoration. Joining with others to work for solutions will.
When a child makes a mess at home, spending all the time assessing blame does not clean the mess. With a young child, the way to teach responsibility is to get down on the floor and help that child with the cleanup. We do not sit above the child and say you are guilty and have been judged as responsible for all that has happened and must do all the work.
Judgment does not belong to humanity, it belongs to God. We are to be the presence of the Divine through the works of our God given hands and God given minds. We are to come together as a community to seek solutions for the needs of the greater community. We are to avoid the temptation of seeking personal advantages, but rather to discover the blessing in working in cooperation with others to help all. As a nation we have been at our best when we work for the greater good of all. We are truly following the will of God when we work to help those most in need without thought of personal gain or status.
Let’s pray, put our heads together, and roll up our sleeves and get to work with God’s guidance and blessing.