Thursday, December 6, 2012
By Andrew Cleminshaw
Scripture: Malachi 3:5-12
When I first read this passage I had difficulty finding unity in the message. The first few verses lifting up the idea that God’s people are to treat workers, widows and the oppressed fairly struck me as familiar and while hard to implement, consistent with other teachings. However, the Stealing would imply some sense of contract and I do not see God as an entity with whom one strikes and maintains a bargain. Then I reflected on the passage more broadly noting that all we are is a gift from God and if we do not use that gift rightly, while not stealing in the classic sense, we are taking thoughtlessly, even heedlessly. In turn, God intends for us to use those gifts, not as oppressors either through commission or omission but as those actively helping the oppressed. In the end, living according our selfish goals rather than according to the ways of God is a way of stealing, from ourselves, from the world, from the downtrodden, and, in the end, from God.
Merciful and loving God
In this time of giving and receiving
Make me aware of the true source of all gifts
And renew in me a profound sense of gratitude
Wonder and responsibility.