pa-wasteland

Land of Plenty, Wasteland of Violence


The number and variety of grocery stores in our area astounds me.  I admit, I generally self-check-out over at a Safeway.  But occasionally I’ll go to Harris Teeter for some things.  And even less often I’ll stroll into Trader Joes.  And then there are those cathedrals of food, Whole Foods and Wegman’s, that are overwhelming by all they offer. I step in there amazed and with my hand firmly on my wallet.

So this week while pushing a cart in one of those stores I wondered how it is that in a land of plenty, of so very much, that we are at the same time a wasteland of violence.  We awaken to this each and every day.  Back about twenty, thirty years ago Marxism had nailed religion as the culprit. But look, we live in a hedonistic culture that is far from religious.  The sacred is a melting glacial island.  And yet, with our technology and supposed reliance on science, we are as alienated as any time in our history.  People can’t help resolving their slights by aggression and annihilation.  We’ve heard of micro-agrressions. We need a discussion about macro-aggressions when people react with a volume of anger and violence that far outdistances the perceived slight or problem.  An astute deacon asked me Sunday about how our country, our culture, might begin addressing anger. And she is correct.  We desperately need to do so.

There is a remarkable action you can take that will, on a weekly basis, set a straight measure to your steps; guide you beside still waters; set you in the midst of a meadow of green grass; fill your heart with both humility and joy.  What is that action?  Worship.  I know, I know, it sounds trite. But guess what? it is not.  It is profound.  Not “going to church” but worship. Stepping into a sacred space, joining with others in prayer and song and stopping long enough to ponder the mystery and gift of your life.  Enough violence and hatred.  More Communion. More Kindness.  More faith, hope and love.  ~See you Sunday