We are in the season of summer with its warm temperatures, humidity, and thunderstorms. It is also a time for outings, picnics, family gatherings and most of all relaxation and “down time” from the hectic pace of life.
Deservedly after undergoing over 18 months of the devastating pandemic, we are only now emerging into our former life prior to March 2020. We are now in the midst of reconnecting and reestablishing relationships and former associations with neighbors, colleagues, family and, in our case fellow parishioners. This in itself is a huge undertaking, for we are trying to make up for lost time to restore our relationships. But it is essential to have a right relationship with God first.
One of the main themes of the Bible is the theme of righteousness. A righteous person is one who fulfills his duties to God and meets his obligations to people in the community in which he lives. A righteous person (Tzedek) is one who is right and just. A righteous man or woman is in a right relationship with God and his or her fellow human beings.
In today’s epistle lesson from Romans 10:1-10, St. Paul speaks specifically of making our relationships right. God is also called righteous. His righteousness is absolute. God’s righteousness is defined by mercy, as well as justice, love as well as truth. Christ’s good news is that men and women can receive new hearts and be put in a right relationship with God through faith in Christ.
So as we strive to bring normalcy to our life, family and community, let us focus in this summer on restoring or making right our relationship with God first and thereby those we come in contact with, for God’s righteousness, which is His gracious and forgiving presence, is found not only at the beginning of a Christian’s life but remains to the end, a continuous rule of righteousness. For it says, “Just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).