Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Childermas; Massacre of the Innocents

Childermas is a feast on the church calendar, that remembers the "slaughter of the innocents" by King Herod (all the baby boys under 2 years old when the Magi came to him looking for the King who's star they'd followed from the East). It it celebrated on December 28th every year.

Back in 2006 the South African Episcopal Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu recommended we observe Childermas by praying for children, orphans, and especially infants dying of AIDS.

I'd throw in there, to pray for child refugees and survivors of war and terrorism.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Perhaps the GREATEST OT Prohet

Another of my favorite Old Testament prophet (that wasn't human) is the lowly worm.

It's not because I relate so much to Psalm 22:6, "I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people." Although, I do and probably should-

No, actually its because of how God used the worm to teach one of His human prophets a lesson in Jonah 4 about compassion and how our assumptions are not necessarily as aligned with God's actual plans as we'd like to think!

One of my Favorite Biblical Prophets, "Donkeh"

Numbers 22:22-33

But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

Sometimes I feel like that donkey. Stubborn, a jackass- maybe, but I keep trying to tell people what I see the way I see it and it seems to fall on deaf ears. Most people think I'm too religious, many of my fellow Christians prefer to listen to political conservatives rather than Christ's own Word, let alone me. But after all, 

"...God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." ~1 Corinthians 1:27

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reading some really 'OLD-school!'

GEEKING OUT; last night I was reading the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope compiled by theologians in Smalcald, Germany in 1537 and it totally reinforced for me democratic philosophies about bottom-up structures, empowerment of the populace, and an aversion to tyranny. Amazing how conservative/orthodox 16th century theology is a good model for liberal/progressive 21st century politics.

Not to mention servant-leadership, egalitarianism or the separation of church-and-state!
It amazes me that Lutherans can purport to agree with this stuff from the Reformation and then seem to support so much of the ideology and behavior espoused by today's Republican candidates and pundits that's pretty much antithetical to what Martin Luther and his colleagues found in Scripture and wrote and taught. 

Antithetical and in my opinion, short-sighted and irresponsible.
But it does not surprise me that Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. was impressed enough to change he and his son's names after learning about the reformer's on a trip to Europe.