Risky business

Sunday, September 2. Proverbs 25:6-7; Psalm 112; Hebrews 13:1-8,15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14

In the fragility of goodness, author Martha Nussbaum writes, “The peculiar beauty of human excellence just is its vulnerability.” Goodness is fragile and its vulnerability is part of its beauty. But in several of these scripture texts, it is not the fragility of goodness that stands out but the sturdiness of righteousness. The psalmist proclaims confidently that the righteous will never be moved or forgotten. Psalm 112 rings with the joyful refrain that the righteousness of those who fear the Lord and delight in God’s commandments will endure forever.

That picture of sturdiness stands in contrast with the way many of us live. Worried about the future and our place in it, we are fearful of bad news and possible disasters. Our fears make us unsteady, especially when we try to anticipate contingencies. Anxious about future troubles, we fail to make the commitments that might enable us to endure those very difficulties.


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