Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First Sunday of Advent - C1

Year C
Jeremiah 33:14-16

Finally to this year after a reminder of a basic pairing - peace and security - and connections between symbols. This leads us into looking for connections between another pairing - justice and righteousness.

One interesting commonality is that both are connected at their roots with a difference in gender. Justice is male and Righteousness is female.

Since they are parallel terms, when Jeremiah speaks of Judah and Jerusalem, the general and the specific, the generational time frame and the specific representational location, as being saved, finding security, it is in a "name" called: "The Lord is our righteousness" (feminine) which also reveals "The Lord is our justice" (masculine).

We would all be helped if this pairing were more closely connected in our speech, even to the point of not being able to say one without the other.

As one living image of the heavenly host, this justice and righteousness pairing is our birthright. Within myself I carry both. And so do you.

The effect of holding these two aspects of a larger story is to bring forth a new creation. They don't return us to the days when we yearned for security because things were in such a mess or to some perceived past perfect moment to be carved eternally outside a flow of time. Justice and Righteousness flourish together. Together they provide the space needed for a new heaven and earth, seedtime and harvest.

Ultimately this polarity needs to be managed, not chosen between. Justice and Righteousness have left their ideal homes and entered into the give and take of a living together with a vocation to provide a creative safety from whence their offspring of hope, mercy, love, redeeming forgiveness, etc might spread their wings and drop their roots into our present moments so in need of reformation.

Instead of looking for a fancy word that might stand behind Justice and Righteousness as their measuring rod and evaluator of their implementation in a personal or social context, we may have to settle for a small word that needs these two to reveal its creative energy. At least one candidate for an appropriate context would be the small but complex word of "kind".

The next time you see the word Righteous, substitute Just and see what your ear tells you. Likewise, hearing Justice, remember Righteousness and see where the dialogue takes you. You may find a kindness developed toward self and others that could approximate the love G*D had/has for creation.

- - - - - - -

Be still my heart.
Righteousness is such a beaut and Justice such a hunk.
Ain't nothin' but what brings a sigh to a bi-.
It is worth any disparagement to honestly claim both lovers.
Thanks be for heads and hearts and hands and health enough to honor
Papa Justice and Mama Righteousness.
May they become one flesh - mine.

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