Show me the suffering of the most miserable, so I will know my people's plight. Free me to pray for others, for you are present in every person. Help me take responsibility for my own life, so that I can be free at last. Grant me courage to serve others, for in service there is true life. Give me honesty and patience, so that the Spirit will be alive among us. Let the Spirit flourish and grow, so that we will never tire of the struggle. Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life. Help us love even those who hate us, so we can change the world. Amen.
- A prayer by Cesar Chavez
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The LORD promotes equity and justice; the LORD's faithfulness extends throughout the earth. ~Psalm 33:5
I don't know about conservatives, but as a liberal, this is what I think of when I pray "Thy kingdom come." ALL men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights."
Maybe the right wingers aren't so off when they say that our laws were based on the Bible. Ya suppose Jefferson ever read this verse in Psalm 33?
Ah, but to we Americans really believe in and treat everyone equally? Throughout the Earth? Do we evenly & fairly offer genuine justice? To everyone?
I don't have a problem including "under God" in the pledge, so long as we remember the "with liberty and justice for ALL" part, and try to make it come true.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The end is near
God is angry
about abandoned traditions
about relativism most of all.
there are bats in our belfry
and snakes in our basement
disregarded Tupperware in the kitchen
that the Ladies' Aid would like to have claimed
or they will put it on the auction block next Summer
Should we contract ahead for fuel oil now
for next winter?
Somewhere between esoteric eschatology
and banal minutia
with Tillich and Kierkegaard,
Barth and Dostoevsky
No matter how many indulgences
Tetzel would sell
he'd never get me out of this Earthly Hell.
Its not other people, as said Kant
but out of this church voters' meeting
that I want!
Motion to adjourn
to the tavern
with professors Luther and Melanchthon
for a pint
will join us.
Friday, April 12, 2013
When you read Luke 11:29-54 (especially the 7 woes), what you might notice is that it's not that Jesus is such a social or political revolutionary (He is first and foremost the Son of God and our spiritual messiah, He is about our souls), but those who opposed Him, the Pharisees & teachers of the law- they were all about social & political power and prestige when THEY'RE the ones who should've been concentrating on the spiritual.
It's kind of like how those who claim to oppose class warfare are usually the ones who've already been benefiting from waging war on the poor.
Jesus makes clear that God desires mercy over sacrifice, sincerity over lip-service, a real relationship with Him rather than just fiercely identifying yourself with Him. Repentance and regret over the sins of our ancestors rather than fancy memorials. And justice, liberty, and equality rather than institutionalized religious elitism.
I can see participants in the reformation seeing Luke 11:29-54 as applying to the church of the renaissance as much as to the Pharisees. We need to read it as if it applies to us in the 21st century West too.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Though devils all the world should fill,
All eager to devour us.
We tremble not, we fear no ill,
They shall not overpow'r us.
This world's prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none,
He's judged; the deed is done;
One little word can fell him.
~'A Mightly Fortress' by Martin Luther
This past week things just seemed to pile on. I admit, I'd succumed to the "diabolical D's;" doubt, discouragement, and depression. It felt like I was under attack. Too many hassles seemed to continue to wear me down. I really began to wonder if there wasn't some kind of spiritual aspect to my stress. Was this "Spiritual warfare?"
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Luke 10:19-20 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Monday, April 01, 2013
I read Luke 6:27ff for morning devotions today.
Once again I'm dumbfounded how anyone could read Jesus teachings and claim to believe & follow Him, yet also behave the ways we often do and support media, business, & political leaders who behave the way they do.
Luke 6:27-45, reminds me of kind, compassionate, & humble people who advocate for the oppressed and oppose bullying.
How if one reads & internalized Christ's teaching in Matthew 5 & Luke 6 could anyone still hold onto a philosophy focused on self interest?
I encourage my non-Christian and skeptical, agnostic, & humanist friends to read just these 2 chapters of the Bible. I'll bet you'll end up appreciating, respecting, even admiring Jesus in spite of how ridiculously hypocritical His followers can be.
I also encourage my conservative and religious friends to review Matt 5 & Luke 6. I'll bet the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to just how much 21st cen American Christians are just like the Pharisees and teachers of the law during Jesus time. My prayer is that God will reveal to you how the media demagogues, political shills and televangelists we listen to and support are just the blind leading the blind.
May knowing what Jesus really taught change all our minds... and hearts.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
5 Why should I be afraid in times of trouble, when the sinful deeds of deceptive men threaten to overwhelm me?
6 They trust in their wealth and boast in their great riches.
7 Certainly a man cannot rescue his brother; he cannot pay God an adequate ransom price
8 (the ransom price for a human life is too high, and people go to their final destiny),
9 so that he might continue to live forever and not experience death.
10 Surely one sees that even wise people die; fools and spiritually insensitive people all pass away and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their grave becomes their permanent residence, their eternal dwelling place. They name their lands after themselves,
12 but, despite their wealth, people do not last, they are like animals that perish.
13 This is the destiny of fools, and of those who approve of their philosophy. (Selah)
14 They will travel to Sheol like sheep, with death as their shepherd. The godly will rule over them when the day of vindication dawns; Sheol will consume their bodies and they will no longer live in impressive houses.
15 But God will rescue my life from the power of Sheol; certainly he will pull me to safety. (Selah)
16 Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich and his wealth multiplies!
17 For he will take nothing with him when he dies; his wealth will not follow him down into the grave.
18 He pronounces this blessing on himself while he is alive: "May men praise you, for you have done well!"
19 But he will join his ancestors; they will never again see the light of day.
20 Wealthy people do not understand; they are like animals that perish.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Psalm 59:16-18 "As for me, I will sing about your strength; I will praise your loyal love in the morning. For you are my refuge and my place of shelter when I face trouble.
You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you! For God is my refuge, the God who loves me."