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22A (written after another mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas)

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The scripture appointed for today can be found here
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And Still, It's Us
This is a hard week to preach. There have been many, far too many, hard weeks to preach. When some tragedy or another has struck and we have been left breathless by the pain, numbed by the frequency, bereft at the loss, and raging at the injustice.
This is a hard week to preach, a week in which my very prayers have been akin to screaming into the wind.
Words torn from my lips as I am left behind.
And, then, to hear the Isaiah passage today:
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting; he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed; righteousness,
but heard a cry!

God did not expect the bloodshed. God did not expect to hear the cry of the oppressed.
God expected righteousness, God expected justice, God expected more from us—the people made in God’s image, called to reflect God’s love. God made us to be more than this.
And, as I grapple with the scriptures thi…

21A, Authority and Faith

The scripture for this week can be found here

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We, as Christians, ally ourselves with those whom the world would seek to destroy—and in this, there is what some might find a peculiar comfort. In a letter, written from his prison cell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote,
“Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
When all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is Your will that I should know You
And turn to You.
Lord, I hear Your call and follow;
Help me.” 

This affirmation of faith, written by a man who would ultimately be executed by the Nazi regime, serves as a powerful reminder that Jesus himself was held captive, that Jesus himself suffered. And, because of this Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his own imprisonment found comfort and assurance that he is not alone in his suffering and that he will never be forgotten.
Never forgotten and never alone. Bonhoeffer could easily have found himself discouraged, and indeed at time…