Pro-Active not Cleaning Up

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Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, wrote, “Whatever I had read as a child about the saints had thrilled me. I could see the nobility of giving one’s life for the sick, the maimed, the leper. But there was another question in my mind. Why was so much done in remedying the evil instead of avoiding it in the first place? Where were the saints to try to change the social order, not just to minister to the slaves, but to do away with slavery?”

It seems that Christian people have been on the sidelines, “cleaning up” the pieces after problems have occurred. It is time to be pro-active in our faith and confront “evil” in our world. Perhaps then and only then Christianity (the practice – not the religion) will both embody truth and earn the trust of the rightfully skeptical in our society.

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Political Jesus

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Isaiah 9:1-7

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

I realize that this is kind of a crazy post to be putting up the day after a presidential election, but…

It is interesting to me how in the Hebrew Scriptures people were looking for a Messiah who would release the captives and govern in a way of truth and justice.

Then we have Jesus, whom Christians say fulfills all the Hebrew Scripture prophecies of the coming Messiah. But Jesus turned government, rulers and principalities on their heads.

Somehow, 2000 years later we have created a pansy Jesus who is all luvy-duvy with everyone. “Meek and Mild, As If” Jesus was and continues to be a revolutionary. He challenges our way of thinking and our view of the world. Jesus may not have been political himself, but his call to reform, speak up for the ones cast aside, and care for all those in need was totally political at the time, and still impacts us today.

Zig-Zag Peace

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These baskets are from Rwanda and I love both of them. I particularly like the one on the left because of its meaning.

The zig-zag pattern depicts two people walking arm in arm out of chaos, turbulence, and fighting, into peace, love and reconciliation.

I don’t know, but can imagine that there is a zig-zag pattern because in order to live in harmony it takes give and take from both people involved. Arm in arm reflects that we are intimately connected, and cannot bring about peace and reconciliation by our own power – it takes at least two.

The fact is that we live in a world where we separate ourselves from one another, and want to live with autonomy when we were created to live in community.  When community is destroyed, so is the peace that we are invited to live in.

Where do you see the splintering of community?

How can we better learn to walk together, arm in arm?

What could a future look like if we chose community over individualism?