Friday, November 25, 2011

"Black" Friday prayer

Generous God, we come before you knowing that every Friday is a bleak Friday when we remember your crucifixion, each injustice, every evil in this world. And yet we rejoice, knowing that each Sunday - in fact every day - is a resurrection day when we celebrate your gift of new life to the world. Help us to trust that your providence is enough, and that each day may bring bread for all who hunger.

Grant that we, like your faithful disciples in every age, might know the power of resurrection in the midst of this world. And enable us to be witnesses to your glory, sharing the good news of freedom from bondage to debt, bondage to lusts, bondage to fear, bondage to any desire other than for good, in Jesus name. Amen.

 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Apostle Paul does not urge us to give thanks for everything, but simply observes that we are created with an orientation towards thankfulness, and that in every circumstance there is something that we can be grateful for.

Being thankful, dwelling in thankfulness, is good for us, and is a holy place to be. For what are you thankful today?

I am fortunate to be blessed with many things. I am grateful for fulfilling work – even in the midst of aggravation! I am grateful for the generosity of others which is helping to feed so many people today. And I am thankful that today is a day of rest for me. I am glad to finally have a nice car to replace the one destroyed by a drunk driver in June, and still thankful that no one was hurt in that incident. And especially grateful that this has carried me to visit my Dad, who is still living and enjoying life, and soon to see other family members gathered together.

I am grateful that God has given us a world full of blessing, challenged that there is still so much to do, and awed at the privilege to be a part of so much wonder.

May God bless and keep you this day and forevermore.
 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembering Kennedy

Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the killing of John F. Kennedy, President.

Since his death, we have learned some of the back story of his complicated life. Without the chance to complete his term as President - and a full life of public service - we are left with a story of promise and potential not fully realized. So it becomes easy to imagine a flawed Presidency, or an idealized one. And that has probably distracted attention from this American hero, who was elected based in large part on the strength of his character.

Our polis, our civic life has suffered from this traumatic loss. While not my favorite talking head, Chris Matthews' writing on Kennedy is worth reading, and his new book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, provides a good look at a leader whose loss we justly mourn.
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 9-Percent

"Approval of Congress Matches Record Low," Allison Kopiciki, NY Times Caucus blog, 9/16/11. "Congress faces historically low approval ratings as it wades into the debate over the $447 billion jobs package proposed by President Obama, with just 12 percent of Americans now approving of the way Congress is handling its job, matching its all-time low... Only 6 percent of registered voters say that most members of Congress have earned re-election, while 84 percent say it’s time to give someone new a chance, a historic low for the New York Times/CBS poll. Dissatisfaction with Congress runs deep across both parties, with more than 8 in 10 of both Republicans and Democrats saying it’s time to elect new representatives" (emphasis added).

I would like to know where they found the 9% who approve? People who have been comatose for the past six years? Clones of Grover Norquist, ideologically ecstatic that government has now ceased to function?

First Congress punted the job of fiscal reform to the "super committee," and now the "super committee," has gone exactly...nowhere. We have a failure of leadership. And that is not on Congress, but reflects the delusions and divisions in society - and our willingness to elect the same failed representatives again and again and again.

In New Jersey we just elected our state legislature. Despite a small number who were challenged by redistricting, NO incumbents failed to be reelected, not one. Something is wrong with that picture.