Thursday, March 19, 2009

Amazing

It's amazing what the world wide web will tell you.

Amazing Grace is a three bedroom, three bathroom mountain top chalet with beautiful views... (Amazing Grace Chalet - Pigeon Forge, TN)

Amazing Grace (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) is a large weeping tree up to 35' tall and more tree-like than typical weeping katsuras...

Amazing Grace is mostly vegetarian, but they do serve some chicken and turkey dishes... (Denver Skiing Lifestyle)

Amazing Grace is our best selling fragrance and was created to make a woman feel and smell infinitely feminine. Amazing Grace allows you to wear a beautiful dress every day of the week... (philosophy amazing grace for women perfume collection)


This week we will hear the Gospel of John give a different take on grace: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." With God, amazing grace is not about lifestyle, but about LIFE. Life given, new life received, forgiveness emerging from wreckage and sin.

Amazing.

["Grace Jones Hat," by Keith Haring with David Spada, encaustic on aluminum, 1984, detail]
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I read the news today

I noticed a headline today: Obama's plan to hike taxes meets fierce opposition. NPR told me that the wealthy no longer wish to flaunt private jets, and that television producers are no longer greenlighting projects with "tricked out people living their tricked out lives" (Marketplace: Less bling on TV screens next season). Bernie Madoff says his $7 million penthouse and $62 million in investments belong to his wife and have nothing to do with his theft of billions (Madoff: NYC Penthouse, $62 Million Are Mine).

In completely unrelated news, a friend called seeking help after receiving a foreclosure letter. Another acquaintance, evicted from their apartment, is almost lucky to be sick enough to be in the hospital rather than on the street. The local liquor store reports that business is good. 12.5% of the world (900 million people) is hungry; two thirds of Americans (200 million) are overweight.

"Gluttony (from Seven Deadly Demons)," Artemio Rodriguez.
 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prayer at the start of Lent

How hard it is to contemplate a fast, Lord, when we already feel starved for what we need. How difficult to walk into the desert, when we already feel barren and alone. Help us in our distress. Whatever our circumstance, give us the grace to know your abundant presence. Feed us with your abiding love. And strengthen us with courage and trust to follow you wherever you would have us go: to wilderness or urban jungle; slum or suburb; hut, skyscraper, or marbled hall; to cross, to tomb, and, we pray, into your eternal kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our fellow pilgrim and Lord. Amen.