Tag Archives: justice and peace

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9/11 ::: We Remember

Black-ribbonBelow is an excerpt from my collection, Sermons In War,  wherein I reflected on that day we call 9/11.  Today, let us remember the perished and their families and their friends and the country left behind. We are not united seventeen years after that catastrophic day.  We have given into the rhetoric of fear and hatred.  As the bells ring out this morning, may they alert us to the power resident within us to make this a land of hope and promise, justice and peace.

“Remembrance is a remarkable gift.  Without it, we are imprisoned in a terrifying island of the present, unmoored, bobbing adrift in the sea of time and the chaos of events.  When we remember, we sink an anchor into the depths and stabilize our lives for a moment.  If we are fortunate, we are permitted to remember within a harbor of peace such as a sanctuary.  Taking deep breaths, pondering the heart beat beneath the breastbone of our collective life, we just might stop long enough to remember an event that begs to be remembered if for no other reason than people lost their lives in the conflagration.  We want to remember them.  We will not forget them or where we were.
“I was standing in the driveway of our home, speaking with a neighbor, puzzled about why the twin towers in New York had had jetliners crashed into them. How could this be? And then suddenly, someone –his wife? another neighbor?—told us that the Pentagon had been hit by a plane.  This was the moment of recognition for me.  I knew then we were under attack and that these tragic events were not an accident.  I wrestled with whether or not to pick my children up from school.  I decided to do so, believing that if anything worse were to take place then I wanted to be with them…  We walked home along the bike path in Bluemont Park.  I walked just a step or two ahead of them. The sky was still blue.  I told them I was bringing them home.  I told them our nation had been attacked.  I could say no more at that moment.  I walked with my children and cried.”   [Afterword, Sermons in War]

 

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The Perversion of Our Republic

“For the human race is, more than any other species, at once social by nature and quarrelsome by perversion.”
 St. Augustine City of God

“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

―Abraham Lincoln, 28 years old, speaking in Springfield, Illinois

One year of the presidency of Donald Trump, chaos has been sown into our institutions like weeds into a field of wheat.  The State Department has been stripped like bark torn from a tree.  The Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Departments run by men who despise the very mission of those institutions.  The Supreme Court undermined by the majority leader who refused to hold hearings on President Obama’s choice until Donald Trump could appoint a darling of the right wing.  The sins of commission and omission are simply too numerous to mention. As I type this, the Republicans are undermining the impartial investigation into the Russian subterfuge of our election of a president, preferring instead to protect an authoritarian whose incompetence bewilders even the most jaded of commentators.  Mr. Ryan, armed with the philosophy of Aynd Rand (who believed altruism is destructive), is dead set on shredding not only The Affordable Care Act but Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.  All but the 1% are at risk.

Our Republic is perverted. Its covenantal ties of citizenship severed, the talking heads spend their waking hours stoking hatred and division.  What do we do in the face of this perversion?

We live with dignity and justice. We covenant together in faith, hope and love and show up in worship to honor a Just God who expects justice. We take concrete steps like we will do next month as we dispense $25,000 in grants to agencies that heal, mend and work for justice (this will be the second time in two years that we have contributed such grants).  Next month, on President’s Day, several of us will join with seven other congregations of Jews, Muslims and Christians at Temple Micah to break bread together and worship together so we can state with courage and joy: E Pluribus Unum!

Be part of this.  Discover the power of worship in your life to set you free from fear. Step into courage and hope.   ~See you Sunday