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Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19 – Faith as a Way of Life

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save? 
— Habakkuk 1:1-2

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, December 2, 2018


by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

Main Idea: Violence has long-lasting harmful effects, but together we can work toward justice and peace.

The people of Israel have been exiled, and their pain runs deep. They cry to God and fear God is not listening. It seems all they see is destruction and violence.

Violence is still a problem today. According to the CDC, violence produces physical, psychological, behavioral, and economic consequences. These include interference of brain development and learning issues, anxiety, depression, systemic illnesses, drug abuse, unhealthy relationships, and skyrocketing medical, child welfare, education, and criminal justice expenses.

The people of Israel kept faith and called upon God for aid. They also worked hard for justice in their own corners of the world. They kept watch for the time when God would deliver them. They regained strength and ran as messengers of God’s good news. They weren’t passive in their waiting.

Nor do we need be passive in our watching and waiting for violence to end. Depending upon the kind of violence you are seeking to prevent, there are many opportunities to work for justice and peace. We can protect ourselves against dangers that exist outside and sometimes inside our homes. We can look out for each other, helping where we can. We can call upon God to deliver victims of violence. We can band together. Violence and shame thrive in the silence and in the isolation. By reaching out or being available when reached out to, we can work together to end violence.

Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

The Prophet’s Complaint

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
   and you will not listen?
Or cry to you ‘Violence!’
   and you will not save? 
Why do you make me see wrongdoing
   and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
   strife and contention arise. 
So the law becomes slack
   and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
   therefore judgement comes forth perverted. 

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