Seek Justice and The Kingdom of God

I like to return to ancient sources for inspiration. Of course, I can also turn to more recent sources such as Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, NT Wright, and so forth. It is refreshing to see the lineage from the earliest followers of Jesus.

In his Chapters on Prayer, Evagrius Ponticus, advises, “In your prayer seek only after justice and the kingdom of God, that is to say, after virtue and true spiritual knowledge. Then all else will be given to you besides.”

Then he adds, “It is a part of justice that you should pray not only for your own purification but also for that of every man. In doing this you will imitate the practice of the angels.”

Recognizing that his audience was monks of the 4th Century, we can see where his concerns were placed.

Think first of others.

Think then of drawing closer to God.

Then other things will come to you, as well.

Today we have many people thinking of others only in the sense of telling us, indeed ordering us, what to do and how to do it. The new Pharisees, I call them.

Then we have many teachers who quietly work with people to help and guide through life. Caring only about justice and service to others.

I suddenly thought of Jimmy Carter who is now in hospice care at 98. Called the best former President we’ve had, he sought not riches and glory after he left office. He worked for justice and service.

We (I) would do well to emulate that. It’s not about “likes” on social media that so many desire (probably hoping for the riches that came to the Kardashians). It’s about helping one person at a time outside the lights of publicity.

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