Inspired by Zechariah 8:1-17
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and righteousness…These are the things that you should do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath; for all these things are things that I hate, says the Lord.” Zechariah 8:7-8, 16-17 (NRSV)
Throughout history God’s people have wandered from his ways and suffered the consequences of their own self-serving actions. And throughout history, God has called his people back to him and reminded them how to follow him. He does not require complicated rituals or strict adherence to certain behavioral codes. He does not mandate cultural practices or societal roles.
God is the God of truth, so he desires us to speak truth. God is the God of justice, so he desires us to be just. God is the God of peace, so he wants us to be peaceable. God cares for the wellbeing of all people, so he does not want us plotting against each other or creating situations in which someone will be marginalized or exploited. And God wants us to value him above all else, because only he has the power to give our lives dignity, value, and meaning.
When we turn our hearts away from him, we hurt ourselves and each other. But God in his faithfulness will always call us back and remind us of his ways. Seek his righteousness, and help make this world reflect his love.
Let us pray. Faithful and righteous God, you desire your people to live in truth, justice, and peace. Turn our hearts to you, that we may obey your will and participate in creating the world you desire. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.