But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)
Yesterday, we examined the mysterious exchange that takes place on the cross. To paraphrase Paul, Jesus became sin, and I became righteousness. I didn’t simply obtain righteousness through the exchange, I became righteousness. In other words, I am to embody righteousness.
When you embody righteousness, things begin to change around you. We begin to embody “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Kingdom of God, the righteousness of God, becomes present in this place at this time because of us. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived this truth and was eventually killed because of it.
On August 28, 1963, King delivered what is one of the most iconic speeches in the history of the United States. In it, King laid out a dream of equality and righteousness. One of the main biblical texts that he wove throughout that message was Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
King knew that righteousness isn’t a substance out there that we just need more of. Rather, righteousness is something that needs to be embodied; it is something that needs to be lived.
If the righteousness I have become is the righteousness of God, then the very nature of that righteousness is to bear the shadows – the suffering – of others. If righteousness is to roll down like an ever-flowing stream, then we need to be that righteousness. We need to bear the suffering and pain of others. That is how God’s will is done; that is how God’s Kingdom will come. We must be the very righteousness of God.
Where do you see injustice? Where do you see unrighteousness? Where is God calling you to be His righteousness? Where is God calling you to bear the shadows of others?
Heavenly Father, thank you for bearing my shadow of sin, suffering, and death. Father, please reveal to me where you are calling me to be your righteousness. Father, reveal to me whose shadow, suffering, or pain I need to bear in your name and for the sake of your Kingdom. In Jesus’s name, amen.