Disciples live with not only renouncing their own rights, but even renouncing their own righteousness. They get no credit themselves for what they do and sacrifice.
The only righteousness they can have is in hungering and thirsting for it. They will have neither their own righteousness nor God's righteousness on earth. At all times they look forward to God's future righteousness, but they cannot bring it about by themselves. Those who follow Jesus will be hungry and thirsty along the way. They are filled with longing for forgiveness of all sins and for complete renewal; they long for the renewal of the earth and for God's perfect justice.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6
Questions to Ponder
What could it mean to renounce your own righteousness?
Why do disciples "have neither their own righteousness nor God's righteousness on earth"? Is that a reason for pessimism or cynicism?
If a church renounced its own righteousness, what changes might take place in the way that church relates to other churches, the secular world, and other religions?
Would being always hungry and thirsty for righteousness lead to action or inaction? Why?
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 33:4-5
In what ways do you experience hungering and thirsting for righteousness in your own life? What could you do to alleviate that hunger and thirst?
In what ways do you see our world hungering and thirsting for righteousness? What could your community of faith do to alleviate that hunger and thirst?
Think of those places and situations in our world where people suffer from unrighteousness. Pray that people of faith would say no to the suffering, no to the injustice, and then stand and work in solidarity with those who suffer "for righteousness."
Prayer for Today
Lord, may your righteous kingdom come in my life and in the world.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.