Justice and Righteousness show up in all manner of guises. Here we are faced with an image of Jesus on a cloud with Power and Glory [a reference to Moses and Elijah from Mt. Transfiguration?]. Another way to speak of this would be one who appeared with energy to do something about which one has a perspective. Even though the Greek has these both to be feminine nouns, we might yet translate them as Justice and Righteousness.
One approach to this cloud scene is that of a remote judge and executioner come to impose a final solution upon sinners and the afflicted. Another is to envision a new-born, a re-born, that empowers and clarifies creativity and choices. We can stop moping around, feeling helpless, and stand and look about us with a clear eye and energy to pick a direction that has hope to make earth as though heaven had arrived. Imagine again - a community gathered around a birth rather than an individual enrobed.
It is with the possibilities of energetic renewal that offers again strength to out-wait the dissipation and despair trap of being too fearful to stand and look and choose. The image we attend to makes all the difference.
This is imaged with foreground and background interaction with a lowly fig leaf and the mysterious majesty of a turning season. To link the parable in we see Creative Power of Justice and Righteousness coming on a fig leaf. When this is glimpsed, the summer of our lives leads us to come away from the ice of winter and the flood of spring to a summer where we raise our heads to grow anew.
The cloud image shifts from harvest judgment to profligate abundance twice to a hundred times more than we began with. It turns out the rider(s) of the cloud arrives with fertilizer, not a scythe. A question now is how much justice (acts of mercy) and righteousness (acts of piety) our roots will gather for our health, how high we will raise our head, how tasty and nutritious we will become.
What are the words of life if not Justice and Righteousness, Steadfast Love and Faithfulness, Blamelessness and Holiness, Power and Glory, Peace and Security, Fig Leaf and Summer.
= = = = = = =
In a fig leaf is summer seen
A scene of life reveals its context
divine fertilizer abundant
roots deep and wide
clear eyes and choices wise
In growth eternity glimpsed
and so we yearn or pray -
deep clarity of justice
wide wisdom of righteousness
awaited, revealed, enacted