Daily Practice for 2016.03.16

Word:

I am so tired of division. Yesterday I encountered people that were going to vote in the primary for their person. And if their person didn't win, they would not vote in the general election. And I also encountered a person who is going to vote for the person who he perceives will be able to fracture the government the most. I do not understand either position. Maybe someone can help me see.

Today's practice is inspired with music by Steve Earle, a poem from W. B. Yeats, and wisdom from Jennifer Donnelly along with scripture from several traditions.  I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, James Howard Hill, Jr., asks us what we are tied to that prevents us from living fully into mercy and justice.

"How many of us are willing to admit that our inability to understand the hard truths of God may not be rooted in our “fidelity to the Scriptures” but, rather, in a shared unwillingness to sacrifice the false peace offered by the rulers of this present age?"

Not all of us believe in God or sacred Scriptures, but we all cling to an understanding that may be rooted in power and privilege rather than in equity and peace. Investments, education, employment...these often inform our identity and when challenged by full inclusion of LGBTQ or listening and hearing #blacklivesmatter, we cling to our current understanding because to change means sacrifice. It might mean giving up some investments, examining our own complicity, or choosing rulers that have the uplifting of the disenfranchised as core to their platform rather than economic privilege.

#itstime to make personal choices rooted in mercy and justice for the world.

Onward!

Opening:

Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBO: Breath In, Breath Out--hummmm

Music:

The Revolution Starts Now by Steve Earle

I was walkin' down the street
In the town where I was born
I was movin' to a beat
That I'd never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written 'cross the sky
The revolution starts now
Yeah, the revolution starts now

Readings:

The Second Coming By W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sacred Text
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link

2 Kings 4:18-37
Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 143
Quran Surah 2.195-202
Bhagavad Gita 2.6-12

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!

Sacred Quotable

“There is only one thing I fear now-love. For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.” ― Jennifer Donnelly

Prayers:

2016.03.16

For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the suicide bombing in Nigeria
for the teachers protesting in Hungary
for the rejection of direct peace talks by the Syrian government
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
257 incidents, 78 killed, 172 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the US
for the discovery of a 500 year old shipwreck near Oman
for Yisrael Kristal, an Aushwitz survivor and the world's oldest living man
for Dee McMillan who has transformed the experience of being bullied
For Myanmar and Thailand
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
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.

Lord’s Prayer:

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.

2016 03 16

Notes:
"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel 
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove

bibo

News Notes:
Mass shooting resource
Wars in the World
Prayer cycle of the world's countries
Good news

Today's Scriptures:

2 Kings 4:18-37

Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text

18The child grew up. One day, he went out to his father among the reapers. 19[Suddenly] he cried to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” He said to a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20He picked him up and brought him to his mother. And the child sat on her lap until noon; and he died. 21She took him up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and left him and closed the door. 22Then she called to her husband: “Please, send me one of the servants and one of the she-asses, so I can hurry to the man of God and back.” 23But he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath.” She answered, “It’s all right.”

24She had the ass saddled, and said to her servant, “Urge [the beast] on; see that I don’t slow down unless I tell you.” 25She went on until she came to the man of God on Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her from afar, he said to his servant Gehazi, “There is that Shunam-mite woman. 26Go, hurry toward her and ask her, ‘How are you? How is your husband? How is the child?’ ” “We are well,” she replied. 27But when she came up to the man of God on the mountain, she clasped his feet. Gehazi stepped forward to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress; and the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I say: ‘Don’t mislead me’?”

29He said to Gehazi, “Tie up your skirts, take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him. And place my staff on the face of the boy.” 30But the boy’s mother said, “As the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you!” So he arose and followed her.

31Gehazi had gone on before them and had placed the staff on the boy’s face; but there was no sound or response. He turned back to meet him and told him, “The boy has not awakened.” 32Elisha came into the house, and there was the boy, laid out dead on his couch. 33He went in, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. 34Then he mounted [the bed] and placed himself over the child. He put his mouth on its mouth, his eyes on its eyes, and his hands on its hands, as he bent over it. And the body of the child became warm. 35He stepped down, walked once up and down the room, then mounted and bent over him. Thereupon, the boy sneezed seven times, and the boy opened his eyes. 36[Elisha] called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman,” and he called her. When she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37She came and fell at his feet and bowed low to the ground; then she picked up her son and left.

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

The Voice version

1As for you, don’t you remember how you used to just exist? Corpses, dead in life, buried by transgressions, 2wandering the course of this perverse world. You were the offspring of the prince of the power of air— oh, how he owned you, just as he still controls those living in disobedience. I’m not talking about the outsiders alone; 3we were all guilty of falling headlong for the persuasive passions of this world; we all have had our fill of indulging the flesh and mind, obeying impulses to follow perverse thoughts motivated by dark powers. As a result, our natural inclinations led us to be children of wrath, just like the rest of humankind.

4But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, 5united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life— even though we were buried under mountains of sin— and saved us by His grace. 6He raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with our beloved Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. 7He did this for a reason: so that for all eternity we will stand as a living testimony to the incredible riches of His grace and kindness that He freely gives to us by uniting us with Jesus the Anointed. 8-9For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazing. 10For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.

Psalm 143

Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text

A psalm of David.

O LORD, hear my prayer;
give ear to my plea, as You are faithful;
answer me, as You are beneficent.
2Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
    for before You no creature is in the right.
3My foe hounded me;
he crushed me to the ground;
he made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
4My spirit failed within me;
my mind was numbed with horror.
5Then I thought of the days of old; I rehearsed all Your deeds,
recounted the work of Your hands.
6I stretched out my hands to You,
longing for You like thirsty earth. Selah.
7Answer me quickly, O LORD;
my spirit can endure no more. Do not hide Your face from me,
or I shall become like those who descend into the Pit.
8Let me learn of Your faithfulness by daybreak,
for in You I trust;
let me know the road I must take,
for on You I have set my hope. 9Save me from my foes, O LORD;
to You I look for cover. 10Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God. Let Your gracious spirit lead me
on level ground. 11For the sake of Your name, O LORD, preserve me;
as You are beneficent, free me from distress.
12As You are faithful, put an end to my foes;
destroy all my mortal enemies,
for I am Your servant.

Quran Surah 2.195-202

Quran: A Simple English Translation

195 Spend for God’s cause: do not cast yourselves into destruction by your own hands. Do good, God loves the doers of good.

196 Perform the Hajj and the minor pilgrimage [umrah] for the sake of God. If you are prevented from doing so, then make whatever offering you can afford and do not shave your heads until the offering has reached the place of sacrifice. But if any of you is ill, or has an ailment of the head, he should compensate by fasting or almsgiving or sacrifice. In times of peace, if any of you combines the minor pilgrimage with the Hajj, he should make whatever offering he can afford, but if he lacks the means, then let him fast three days during the pilgrimage and for seven days after his return; that is, ten days in all. That is incumbent upon anyone whose family does not live near the Sacred Mosque. Fear God and know that God is severe in punishment.

197 The pilgrimage is in the appointed months. Whoever intends to perform it during them must abstain from indecent speech, from all wicked conduct, and from quarrelling while on the pilgrimage. Whatever good you may do, God is aware of it. Make provision for yourselves— but surely, the best of all provision is God-consciousness. Always be mindful of Me, you that are endowed with understanding.

198 You will be committing no sin if [during the pilgrimage] you seek to obtain any bounty from your Lord. When you return from Arafat, remember God at the sacred place, and remember Him as He has guided you. Before this you were surely astray.

199 Then press on from where the pilgrims stream forth and ask God’s forgiveness. God is ever forgiving and most merciful.

200 When you have performed the acts of worship prescribed for you, n celebrate the praises of God as you celebrated the praises of your fathers, or even more fervently than that. There are some who say, ‘Our Lord, give us abundance in this world.’ These shall have no share in the world to come.

201 But there are others who pray, ‘Our Lord, grant us good in this world as well as good in the world to come, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.’

202 They shall have a good share from what they have earned. God is swift in His reckoning.

Daily Buddhism Reading 

Bhagavad Gita

As Arjuna sat there, overwhelmed with pity, desperate, tears streaming from his eyes, Krishna spoke these words to him: “Why this timidity, Arjuna, at a time of crisis? It is unworthy of a noble mind; it is shameful and does not lead to heaven. This cowardice is beneath you, Arjuna; do not give in to it. Shake off your weakness. Stand up now like a man.”

Arjuna said: “When the battle begins, how can I shoot arrows through Bhishma and Drona, who deserve my reverence? It would be better to spend the rest of my life as a pauper, begging for food, than to kill these honored teachers. If I killed them, all my earthly pleasures would be smeared with blood. And we do not know which is worse, winning this battle or losing it, since if we kill Dhritarashtra’s men we will not wish to remain alive. I am weighed down by pity, Krishna; my mind is utterly confused. Tell me where my duty lies, which path I should take. I am your pupil; I beg you for your instruction. For I cannot imagine how any victory— even if I were to gain the kingship of the whole earth or of all the gods in heaven— could drive away this grief that is withering my senses.” [2.6– 12]

Having spoken thus to Krishna, Arjuna said: “I will not fight,” and fell silent. As Arjuna sat there, downcast, between the two armies, Krishna smiled at him, then spoke these words.

THE BLESSED LORD SAID:

Although you mean well, Arjuna,
your sorrow is sheer delusion.
Wise men do not grieve
for the dead or for the living.

Never was there a time
when I did not exist, or you,
or these kings; nor will there come
a time when we cease to be.

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