If Isaiah is even half-right then what matters to God is the bottom line. Liturgy doesn’t cut it; piety and devotion don’t make an impression; even our individual good works are empty. But what does catch God’s eye is all the stuff we claim we are powerless to influence: our political system, the way we as a nation organise our economic and labour relations, all the ways we institutionalise the relationships between richer and poorer, between worker and owner, between effort and reward, between power and punishment. The way we grant the good life to some and hardship to others.
Put it like that and, when God comes calling, it doesn’t look like I can use the excuses that laziness makes so attractive: I didn’t vote for him; nobody asked me how the world ought to work; and what can I do anyway?
And all I can think, as war is being readied in our name, is that I hope God is busy elsewhere this Lent and can’t see what I’m letting happen.
March 7th, 2003