Monday, March 2, 2020
Why do we fast, but you do not see?” God’s people ask in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. “Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” It is not just an individual complain; it is a human complaint that affects our lives in community as well as our lives at home. “Why do we worship but you do not reveal yourself to us? Why do we pray, Sunday after Sunday, for peace, for health, for safety, but you do not give us those things. Why is the world is far from our desires for it……?
Barbara Brown Taylor Gospel Medicine, p.67
Why are you silent?
Why when evil flourishes do you not act?
Why when lies abound, do you not act?
Why when power is abused, do you not act?
We are frightened Lord
We are tired
And we sit in the silence
“How long O Lord how long?”
How long will the rich oppress?
How long will a narcissist smugly preen and boast?
How long will the poor be neglected?
How long will the stranger be turned away?
This is not a new question
This is not merely a question for our times
It has been echoed throughout the ages
As people of faith
Have cried to heaven
Searching for an answer
Asking God for justice
Asking God to act, now!
It is the eternal question
How long O Lord?
The problem is, perhaps
That God is not where we think God should be
The people of Israel sought God in the temple
In the synagogue
They sought God in festivals and prayer
And they sought to obligate God through
Their ritual and their sacrifices
And they were good people
And yet God said
“I hate, I despise your feasts!
I cannot stand the stench of your solemn assemblies (Amos 5)
Because they were not engaged in making God’s way real
Day by day
All their posturing was empty
Because they were not
Actively doing good in the world
“God was not at their prayer desks with them. God was in the streets, warming hands over a can of burning garbage with a bunch of drifters, delivering sacks of groceries down at the housing project, handing out blankets to those who slept shivering in the bushes God was not parked in their sanctuaries, waiting for one of them to stop by for a talk. God was in the ER at the city hospital, in the waiting room a the labor pool, in the lobby at the police station, not only to comfort those who were stuck there, but also to stir them up, reminding them of their birthright….” (Barbara Brown Taylor, pp 68,69)
God was their reminding them that they were Children of God
Carriers of the Spirit
It is not that God fails to act
As much as it is that God expects us to act
God expects us, as Spirit powered people
To be the answer to our own prayers
God expects us to tap into Sacred Power
And Sacred Love
And do what needs to be done
God expects us to be the answer
To welcome the stranger
Feed the hunger
Clothe the naked
House the homeless
God expects us to be generous
God expects us to seek the truth
And reject the lies
And refuse to hate
God expects us to put Love first
Not money and power
And God expects us to hold our leaders accountable
And God expects us
To speak out
Is God silent?
Hear the world of God
“It is not I who have forsaken you, but you who have forsaken me
If you cannot hear me it is because you have strayed far from my voice. It is not I who am ignoring you, but you who are ignoring me.” Isaiah 58
We ask God, why don’t you feed the hungry
God says, you feed them
We cry to God about injustice
God says, fight for justice
We cry to God about the abuse of power
God says, vote
The Bible says it many ways
We are Christ’s ambassadors
We are the Body of Christ
We are the Children of God
We are Salt
We are Light
It is not that we might be
So let’s be who we are