Apparently there was an unwarranted conflagration of church and state and commerce at the Kennedy Center last night. A celebration of the nation for the sake of honoring veterans was joined by our current President. In this fête, the First Baptist Church of Dallas launched a new piece that they had written for them, "Make America Great Again." In addition to this, many churches across the land flew flags in their sanctuary and sang nationalistic songs in advance of Independence Day celebrations.
Just as the free press is a foundation of democracy to keep a watchful eye on the political structures, religious structures, including the church, is needed to keep a watchful eye on the centering of our souls. Are our souls centered on nationalism? Consumerism? Militarism? Well, yes. Because religious structures in the US have failed. They have succumbed to the temptation of celebrity, idolatry, and prosperity. And this is mostly the fault of the Christian Church.
We have forgotten that in the beginning we were set apart from society. Only when Constantine decided that the church would be useful and had a dream of soldiers going to war did the church become a political weapon. Constantine using her people to decide upon and enforce an orthodoxy that did not exist and used her people to put bodies emblazoned with a blood-red cross on the battle field. It was not until Constantine that the church worshiped nationalism. And we have never given up the power that such a conflagration carries.
But it is wrong. Jesus was put to death because he would not surrender to nationalistic power. Because he would not say, "My allegiance is to the Roman government." Remember that the religious leaders that brought Jesus to trial were in collusion with the government. Church combined with government leads to death.
All this is to say, wake up Christian churches of the USA! You are giving up your soul. And in giving up your soul, you are leading thousands of people to tormented lives. Take the flag out of your sanctuary and sing songs of love and mercy, kindness and patience once again.
What song will you sing?
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--roar!
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, please share!
“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up. I encourage you to fill this in however you see it.
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For the countries of Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. For the countries of ________________________
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for ________________________
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for ________________________
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.