Daily Practice for 2016.03.17

Word:

Over the weekend, I learned of an internet friend's practice of elevating black choices over his own choices. He is from apartheid South Africa and justice for him is choosing politicians that he understands black voices to choose. I can fully appreciate that choice. In the US, the most demonized population is black America. I looked towards people such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Shawn King, Sybrina Fulton, and Geneva Reed-Veal to inform my decision of who to cast my primary vote for because I believe that as a person of privilege, it is my job to lend my power to those who are disenfranchised by continued clinging to an outdated standard of whiteness. It is important to me that those who are among the lost, the least, and the lonely are lifted up. What is not important is that I stay at the same level. If the lifting up brings me down a few notches, so be it. If you ever wonder why I pray for #blacklivesmatter every day, this is it. Because #blacklivesmatter...well, if you read today's poem, you will see it exactly.

Today's practice is inspired with music by Flobots, a poem from The Prophet of Life, and sacred wisdom from President Barack Obama along with scripture from several traditions.  I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, Dean Snyder reminds me that "When we get tired because progress seems so slow...in the midst of our very human struggle for justice, inclusion, and love" we are encouraged to persevere. Remembering to "not grow weary or lose heart" and that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

The cloud of witnesses is Rumain Brisbon, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Kajieme Powell, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michael Brown, John Crawford III, Eric Garner, Yvette Smith, Sandra Bland, Miriam Carey, and Rekia Boyd. And this is just a short list of the 76 unarmed people of color that the NAACP has tracked. Witness.

And even more vulnerable, are those at the intersection of racism, heterosexism, and sexism: transgender women of color. Last year, 22 trans women of color were murdered. Papi Edwards, Lamia Beard, Ty Underwood, Michelle (Yazmin) Vash Payne, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, and Penny Proud are just a few names.

Why must people suffer so that people of privilege can remain secure? #itstime for churches to change (I'm looking at you, UMC), communities to change, and hearts to change.

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--roar

Music:

Anne Braden by Flobots

Imagine the world that you're standing within
All of your neighbors, they're family-friends.
How would you cope facing the fact
The flesh on their hands was tainted with sin?
She faced this every day.
People she saw on a regular basis;
People she loved, in several cases;
People she knew were incredibly racist.
It was painful, but she never stopped loving them,
Never stopped callin' their names
And she never stopped being a Southern woman
And she never stopped fighting for change.
And she saw that her struggle was
In the tradition of ancestors never aware of her
It continues today:
The soul of a Southerner
Born of the other America.

Readings:

Why We Say Black Lives Matter by The Prophet of Life

When we say
Black Lives Matter
We are not saying that ONLY black lives matter
We do understand that All Lives Matter
And we are not negating that fact

When we say Black Lives Matter
We are issuing a call for JUSTICE
We are issuing a plea to stop the murder of our children
Who, as members of the human family represent all of our children

And we wonder why we must call for justice
If we live in a Just Society
We wonder why there should even be a reason for us to call for justice
If we live in a Just Society
And we wonder why the blood of our children runs in the streets
Beneath the tainted shadow of racism

So next time you hear someone say
Black Lives Matter
Know that it is a call for justice
And think about
Why we need to call for justice
If we do, in fact,
Live in a Just Society

 

The Prophet Of Life (2015-01-07). Black In America: Essays & Poems about Racism in America. Includes: A Poem for Martin Luther King Jr. Why We Say Black Lives Matter. Love Force International Publishing.

 

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

1 Samuel 16:11-13
Philippians 1:1-11
Psalm 31:9-16
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

"When you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you've got to have vigilance, but you have to recognize that it's going to take some time, and you just have to be steady, so that you don't give up when you don't get all the way there." -- President Barack Obama

Prayers:

2016.03.17

For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the attack in Ankara, Turkey by the Kurds
for the acid attack on girls going to school in Punjab, India
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
224 incidents, 61 killed, 149 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the quantification that Denmark is the happiest country
for the escape of kidnapped Anyelo Palacios in Columbia
for the push from Saudi women on the council for equality
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 17

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:

1 Samuel 16:11-13

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

11Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?” He replied, “There is still the youngest; he is tending the flock.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send someone to bring him, for we will not sit down to eat until he gets here.” 12So they sent and brought him. He was ruddy-cheeked, bright-eyed, and handsome. And the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.” 13Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD gripped David from that day on. Samuel then set out for Ramah.

Philippians 1:1-11

The Voice version

1 Paul and Timothy, slaves of Jesus the Anointed One, greet you, our friends in Philippi—those set apart by Jesus the Anointed—and we greet the elders and deacons who serve with you. 2 Grace and peace be with you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus the Anointed.

3 Whenever you cross my mind, I thank my God for you and for the gift of knowing you. 4 My spirit is lightened with joy whenever I pray for you (and I do constantly) 5 because you have partnered with me to spread the gospel since the first day I preached to you.

6 I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world. 7 It is only right that I should feel such admiration for you all—you hold me close to your hearts. And, since we are partners in this great work of grace, you have never failed to stand with me as I have defended and stood firm for the gospel—even from this prison cell.8 Before God I want you to know how much I long to see you and love you with the affection of the Anointed One, Jesus.

9 Here’s what I pray for you:

Father, may their love grow more and more in wisdom and insight—10 so they will be able to examine and determine the best from everything else. And on the day of the Anointed One, the day of His judgment, let them stand pure and blameless, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that ripens through Jesus the Anointed.
All this I pray, with a view to God’s ultimate praise and glory.

Psalm 31:9-16

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

8Let me exult and rejoice in Your faithfulness
    when You notice my affliction,
    are mindful of my deep distress,
9and do not hand me over to my enemy,
but grant me relief.

10Have mercy on me, O LORD,
for I am in distress;
my eyes are wasted by vexation,
my substance and body too.

11My life is spent in sorrow,
my years in groaning;
    my strength fails because of my iniquity,
my limbs waste away.

12Because of all my foes I am the particular butt of my neighbors,
a horror to my friends;
those who see me on the street avoid me.

13I am put out of mind like the dead; I am like an object given up for lost.

Quran Surah 2.195-202

Quran: A Simple English Translation

203 Remember God during the appointed days; for one who hastens to leave in two days, it shall be no sin; and for one who stays on, it shall be no sin for him either. This is for one who fears God. Have fear of God, and know that you shall all be gathered before Him.

204 There are some men whose views on the affairs of this life may please you. They even call on God to witness whatever is in their heart, yet they are the most contentious of quarrellers.

205 When he turns away, he sets out to spread corruption in the land, destroying crops and cattle. God does not love corruption.

206 When he is told, ‘Have fear of God,’ he is seized by pride which drives him to wrongdoing. Hell shall be enough for him. A dreadful resting place.

207 But there are others who would dedicate themselves to seeking the pleasure of God. God is compassionate to His servants.

Daily Buddhism Reading 

Bhagavad Gita

[2.13– 17]

Just as, in this body, the Self
passes through childhood, youth,
and old age, so after death
it passes to another body.

Physical sensations— cold
and heat, pleasure and pain—
are transient: they come and go;
so bear them patiently, Arjuna.

Only the man who is unmoved
by any sensations, the wise man
indifferent to pleasure, to pain,
is fit for becoming deathless.

Nonbeing can never be;
being can never not be.
Both these statements are obvious
to those who have seen the truth.

The presence that pervades the universe
is imperishable, unchanging,
beyond both is and is not:
how could it ever vanish?

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