Sunday, July 12, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
While children were escorted into schools by national guardsmen, the song “Jesus Loves Me” became an anthem of faith in the face of contradictory evidence. You cannot face German shepherds and fire hoses with your own resources; there must be God and stillness at the very center of your being.
Like a spiritual earthquake, the resolve of the marchers affirmed the faith of foremothers and forefathers. Each step was a reclamation of the hope unborn. Each marcher embodied the communal affirmation of already/not yet sacred spaces. . . . The sacred act of walking together toward justice was usually preceded by a pre-march meeting that began with a prayer service, where preaching, singing, and exhortation prepared the people to move toward the hope they all held. This hope was carefully explicated by the leadership as a fulfillment of God’s promises. As a consequence, the movement that spilled from the churches to the streets was a ritual enactment of a communal faith journey toward the basileia [realm] of God. . . .
we are living in a time of relative chaos
it may not be as chaotic as some claim
it may not be as chaotic as some desire
but this is a time of discontent
it is not the first time we have been here,
as a world or as a nation
we have walked this path before
this path of hate and anger
where the darker angels of our nature spread their wings
and hover over the turbulence
there they are
greed, and a lust for power
a kind of blood thirst for retribution
and profound level of vindictiveness
and the result is chaos
Yes, the seeds of chaos have been with us forever.
We have a lot of racism woven into our culture
We love power, and the use of power.
We worship wealth.
This is all “no surprise”
The problem is all too clear
The question is this…
How we find our way out?
How do we emerge from this, and stumble our way toward the realm of God?
In the old days of the civil rights movement,
the resistance that was expressed was deeply spiritual at its core.
The protestors often met to sing and pray before they marched.
Because the movement came out of a deep connection with a God who loves justice, and equity, it worked.
The sound of "We Shall Overcome" drowned out the sounds of hate and violence.
If we would redeem our country, we need one primary thing. We need to focus on the Spiritual. Our resistance to what is going on has to emerge from hearts burning with the love of God and God's way of justice and equity
Having our values and actions rooted in our connection with the God of love should inform our politics, who we choose to lead us (remember trickle down),
should inform where we stand on the issues,
and should shape our actions
If we would move us away from smallness, from vindictiveness and retribution
and into the realm of compassion and service
the our resistance needs to emerge more out of fullness rather than need
More out of full hearts than empty hearts
I am not saying we can’t have aching hearts
I am not saying we can’t be angry at the injustice
I am certainly not saying that we “do nothing”
This is a time to speak out
This is a time to stand up
But we need to first to gather in faith
We need to get down on our knees
We need to pray, and agonize in the presence of the One who is Love
We need to draw together and become, truly
A community of faith
And then, rooted in love, move into action
Our resistance needs to be an act of communal faith
But above all it needs to be an act of faith
For it is that faith that will transform
It is that faith that will tap into
The boundless love of God
It is that faith
In a God of love
That will ultimately win
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men (and women)?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes
Friday, July 10, 2020
Your fidelity to love, that is all you need
No day will then match your strength
What was once a fear or problem will see
You coming , and step aside… or run.
Hafiz (A Year with Hafiz, p 184)
The great commandment
In other words….
There are many words, great words,
But in other words
Have your primary allegiance be the sacred
Not an ideology
Not a religious dogma
Not a particular leader or party
Not a nation
But that which we cannot define and contain
But which we know
Which we experience
If we experience it at all,
And then love your self
As a the offspring of love
If you are created in love
And filled with love
How can you not love yourself?
And then live love
Let love ooze out of your soul
Because love is the true power
We blithely make the affirmation that “love wins”
I wonder sometimes whether we believe it
If we believed it would we not live it?
Would we not attempt, as Paul puts it, “to overcome evil with good”?
Yet look at how we live!
Angry and fearful
All too often retributive, sometimes cruel
Look at how we live, grasping for power and money
Heedlessly trampling the poor and the vulnerable
In our heedless rush
What would it look like to have a fidelity to love?
I try to imagine it sometimes
What would it look like to have a fidelity to love
When I am faced with betrayal?
What would it look like to have a fidelity to love,
If I were oppressed?
What would it look like to have a fidelity to love
When assailed by hate?
When Jesus was faced with those things
Fidelity to love looked like the cross
What would it look like for me?
What would it look like if I really lived out what I piously echo,
It is scary to contemplate
The cost is so great
The risk is so high
From the perspective of this world
Such a radical stance is foolish
Even the foolishness of the cross
I can only catch the briefest, glimmering glance
For it is rare
I suspect it looks like generosity
And a radical commitment to justice
I can wander cautiously down those paths
But can I plunge into the depths of that world
And if I did, what would that look like?
And am I brave enough,
Do I have courage enough
To walk all the way
To the cross?
Do I have enough love
That fear, and hate
Greed and racism
Will scatter when they see me coming?