Fidelity that matters for a world in pain

Parties in a relationship – God, self, and the neighbor which includes the planet – flourish in fidelity that is recognized by these marks:

1. Fidelity requires face-to-face address that sounds like oath-taking and uses direct speech as the medium to communicate.

2. Fidelity entails making and keeping promises, and requires commitments of reliability into unforeseen futures.

3. Fidelity pertains to the common good, a prospect that pertains to all parties, where the common good exists under the banner of shalom.

4. The common good is experienced in bodily shalom, never tilting toward simply “spiritual”, and always concerned with the political, social, bodily well being of all the members of the body politic.

5. Fidelity is grounded in unmocked holiness that checks profanation, for this is the God before whom shoes are taken off, and where profanation is most fully understood in Ezekiel 16:49-50: This is the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughter had pride, excess food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did abominable things before me.

*Adapted from God, Neighbor, Empire: The Excess of Divine Fidelity and the Command of Common Good by Walter Brueggemann.


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