October 10, 2021
1 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.
2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.
8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.
9 “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
Honesty, truth and integrity are important qualities to have built into life. When we take a look at different issues facing the church we have a process of having a group of people write a study report that will go to the denomination in its annual gathering in June, Synod. Those are intended to written from the perspective of looking at the particular issue and the Biblical principles that apply to it so that we can find truth. The goal is seeking truth.
The more common way we do things in life, whether as individuals or groups is to look at an issue by trying to find sources that prove our own point and we don’t want to listen to things that challenge our position. This brings up a large number of conspiracy theories, like sea monsters, yetis, ancient aliens and flat earth views. We can find someone who is willing to put up ideas that we already hold so that we find our support.
We are called to seek truth. Not just because truth will bring us to a better way to function, but because to God who calls us to follow calls us as the truth. We will hear Jesus speak of himself as the way, the truth and the life. We will hear Pilate ask, “What is truth?” as he stands before the one who is the truth. Because truth is not just the right information, it is living right as well. Not just knowing truth, living in truth.
Truth says that even though we vote for leaders in church, in society, God chooses them and gives them authority. Truth says that I believe in Jesus, but it is out of faith given me by the Holy Spirit. Truth says that while the date of the universe’s beginning is old, it is certainly true that God is the one source of all life as it began and as it continues. Truth says that while I am called to be changed as a Christian, I belong to Christ in his grace before change occurs, and in spite of the length of the process.
We seek truth. We seek Jesus and his way. We follow the commands he gives. We love God and others.
Song – You Say
Spirit of energy and change, in whose power Jesus was anointed to be the hope of the nations, pour yourself also upon us without reserve or distinction, that we may have confidence and strength to plant justice and truth on the earth, through Jesus Christ. Amen.