Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
I came across an article this morning from the BBC. Allow me to quote:
An army commander in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been accused of leading the recent mass rape of at least 50 women.
One of the victims, as well as sources quoted in a UN report, all accuse Lt Col Kibibi Mutware of links to New Year’s Day rapes in the town of Fizi.
There have been numerous cases of mass rape in DR Congo’s conflict but this is believed to be the largest single incident allegedly involving the army.
Is it an empty promise, that those who would believe Jesus could expect righteousness? Justice for all that has been done to them? Right-living, in relationship with God and at peace with the neighbour? Is it possible?
That is what Jesus promises. He says that the kingdom of heaven is where righteousness dwells.
Hard to believe it’s possible.
I mean, it’s not as though Church history particularly testifies to this reality. I’m sure one could point to the reverse.
Does that mean the Church, and therefore Christians, are not satisfied? If we excuse injustice or turn a blind eye, will we grow restless? Will our spirituality and prayers become dry? Will we seek to satisfy ourselves elsewhere? Will we become bored and complacent?
If we have no desire for God, for righteousness and for his Nearness, will we be satisfied too easily? That scares me more. Imagine a church where 3 songs, a prayer, a sermon and breadcrumb are enough. Imagine that Christian community where the sunday morning experience is satisfying. Their satisfaction will not come from God, but from the experience.
I find it easy to identify with that, because more often than not that is me. I’m satisfied with hearing a good sermon, or praying a thoughtful prayer, or singing grand exultations. How could I have been so numbed, that sunday morning is enough?
It’s a far cry from desiring righteousness for the raped women in the DRC, isn’t it?
It’s even further from desiring closeness with God in thought, word and action.
Yet it is the desire which is required. And God promises to satisfy it.
I shall pray, therefore, for the desire.