Today is Thanksgiving. It is a time to gather with family and friends and give thanks and show our gratitude for the many blessings we have received. It is also time to reflect on the fact that many people are not so blessed and to devise actions plans to alleviate human misery and suffering. God’s bounty is meant to be gift for all, not for the 15 or 53% who are not takers.
Have you noticed that Black Friday has morphed into Black Thanksgiving evening? What a consumerist abomination. Employees will not be able to enjoy a full day with their loved ones. Walmart workers who cannot afford to lose pay or their jobs are threatening to strike. I went to Home Depot to get squirrel shields for my bird feeders yesterday. Throughout the store I saw big skids wrapped in black plastic with signs not to open until 5 AM on Black Friday. Continue reading
[I have decided that writing notes as I do lectio divina helps me to stay focused—most of the time. Anyway I will post these when I can especially if you find my ramblings helpful.]
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Continue reading
The Beauty of God's Creation
“Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you
and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” (Joshua 24)
When I first read this passage from Joshua, I was distracted by all the tribal implications of what Joshua was doing—commanding allegiance to the God who, as the Israelites believed, had selected them from all the peoples on the earth. I was thinking of how tribal monotheism has accounted for so much murder, conquest and mayhem in our world as it evolved during the agricultural era. It was during the agricultural era that land became the god—land, possessions, title deeds, armies to protect possessions, and warfare over land. And as I write this I think back to Francis of Assisi who told the bishop, “If we have possessions, we will have to have weapons to protect them.” Continue reading