Friday, April 16, 2021

Pandemic Prophet

Micah is my favorite prophet. That owes entirely to his venerated admonition on the Lord's behalf:

Do justice, 

Love kindness, 

Walk humbly with your God.

(from Micah 6:8)


It is a challenging and powerful mission statement! 


So, I was thinking...

Public health officials (appropriately) and politicians (often inappropriately) dominate the pandemic discussion. What might a prophet have to say?




Woe to you!

Kingdom of America,

Nation of Contagion.


Fealty to your vaunted economy 

tramples a withered humanity. 


You abuse liberty. 

You pervert the

“pursuit of happiness.”


550,000 pandemic dead. 

Still, you resist masks, 

even vaccinations. 

You applaud reckless re-openings.

The common good takes a back seat 

to red/blue politics 

and your culture war.

You invite Divine cancelation!


Infectious

Communicable

Transmissible 

...describe your grievances,

and your behavior,

but not your tepid faith. 


Sick and selfish souls 

are the real pandemic.


Are you so dull, so dim?

What part of this command 

eludes your comprehension?

Love your neighbor as yourself.

(Mark 12:31)


This scolding

brings no pleasure.

Let my harsh tone convict.

Mend your ways!

Our God stands ready

to forgive, heal and restore.


Amen. 



The prophet, for whom negativity is an occupational hazard, asked me to acknowledge the “love your neighbor” care and concern of essential workers, from nurses to grocery store cashiers. And for the mask wearers, the social distancers and the vaccinated.


Artwork credit

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Distilled

I found myself making notes during Holy Week about the basics of Easter. Given the the layers of meaning and the resurrection miracle itself, it might be a misguided effort. There is no “Easter for Dummies.” It’s too grand and complex. Still, denominations, theologians, politicians, you and I are inclined to mold Jesus to suit our tastes, biases and needs. Therefore, I do believe that it’s a useful exercise to extract the essence of Easter.



God sends his Word

in the flesh

a life and lessons

of forgiveness, healing

humility, service

love


World counters Word

with rebuke, mocking 

betrayal, torture

murder


Word answers

with obedience

with sacrificial love


God replies

with restoration

with covenant, Spirit

with resurrection power


We respond

with belief, repentance

“salt and light” 

with love


Amen



Artwork credit

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

a kingdom divided









o lord, i lament

pundits chatter about division

red states, blue states

red counties, blue cities


it’s a political phenomenon

dominating the news

but not our lives


most of us are center-red 

or center-blue

in the middle


we aren’t ranting 

on social media

we’re sharing pix 

of pets and grandkids


In the neighborhood, workplace

in civic and faith pursuits

there’s respect, mutual concern

even solidarity


we are so weary

of chaos and turmoil

in politics and government


we seek order 

in a disorderly world

we long for community


with humility and forgiveness

with love of neighbor

Jesus is the way


Whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:4


Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!  Matthew 18:21-22


Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 22:39


For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.  Matthew 25:35-36


amen

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Rebooting Noah


Gracious God!


I’m rethinking Noah’s Ark,

and meaning in the myth.


False prophets, grumpy Christians 

can’t resist an angry God.

They savor Noah’s parable,

where wayward humanity

is engulfed by floodwaters.


But they miss the point.


God selects a family to carry on.

God cares about each animal.

God provides detailed survival instructions.

God proffers a covenant with all creation.


This isn’t a tale of God’s wrath.

It’s a love story, 

of personal care and mercy,

of God’s grace.


God of the restart, the do-over, the reboot!


And the story ends with a rainbow, 

with hope!


Thanks be to God, Amen.


Creation Rebooted, Genesis 8, Scripture Union

Artwork credit