ISSL Reflections May 23, 2021, Ezekiel 18:1-9, 30-32 Post 3

The focus passage in the NRSV translation can be found at –

As we look at this passage today, I invite you to focus on those sentences that offer some descriptions of what a righteous life might look like,

Ezekiel 18:5-9

If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right— if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully—such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.

I fear too often we might look at such and make a “check-list” out of them. If we do, 1 and 2 and 3 and etc, then we are righteous. We arrive at “righteous” by keeping the rules. That is the easy thing to do.

I suspect the better (and harder) thing to do is to look at the “list” as a way to prime our mind and spirit to recognize in our own lives some of the forms right standing with God and our neighbors might take on.

Take some time to review this passage and see what it means to you to “Turn, then, and live” (Ezekiel 18:32), recalling the words Ezekiel heard from God, “As I live, says the Lord God, … Know that all lives are mine” (Ezekiel 18:3,4)

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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