Daily Practice for 2016.03.20

Word:

As I perused the news today, I saw the normal horror...crashes, bombs, war...but I began to also see a subversive movement that brings life and possibility to their communities. Women in diaspora from Syria coming together to support each other as artists. Rappers in Cuba forbidden to travel forming an underground program to educate and bring hope to their youth. BLM activists in Chicago bringing out the vote to elect a prosecutor that will have closer ties to their community. This is ordinary people doing inspirational things. And it belies the current prevailing wisdom that an individual person cannot change the world. While small, each nugget of hope builds a platform of mercy that justice can sit upon. Through our daily practices, we build this platform in our own life! Creating more room for mercy, justice, and peace. Strength to face the horror and eyes to see the hope. It gives me ears to hear and eyes to see.

Today's practice is inspired with music by The Staple Singers, a poem from Mary Oliver, and sacred wisdom from Langston Hughes along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita.  And a shout out to Nick Kenrick for the beautiful photo.

I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, Lorena Corey brings a powerful poem, excerpted here:

"this confusion I feel
is for you confused one
you believe the illusion
that we are not equals"

She is writing from the perspective of a parent of a transgender child. She writes of a life of compassion that holds space for oppositional voices.

#itstime for us to build our spiritual muscles and make room for the ground of all compassion. Sometimes, we just have to do our own work in an injust 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--sigh

Music:

I'll Take You There by the Staple Singlers

Oh, mmm
I know a place
Ain't nobody cryin'
Ain't nobody worried
Ain't no smilin' faces
Mmm, no no
Lyin' to the races

Readings:

A House, or a Million Dollars by Mary Oliver

People do it,
some out of desperation,
others out of greed.

They steal.

The very powerful and clever
might steal a whole house,
or a million dollars.
It’s been done.

But what does it matter?
Love is the one thing the heart craves
and love is the one thing
you can’t steal.

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

Leviticus 2:1-13
Matthew 21:1-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Qur'an Surah 2.216-220
Bhagavad Gita 2.28-32

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know! The readings are from the Jewish Lectionary, the Christian Lectionary, and reading the Qur'an and Bhagavad Gita straight through.

Sacred Quotable

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.” ― Langston Hughes

Prayers:

2016.03.20

For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for those affected by the bus crash in Spain
for those affected by the IS attack in Egypt
for continued censorship of artists in Cuba
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
249 incidents, 83 killed, 174 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for Kalawati Devi Rawat and her ability to bring electricity to her small village
for the development of Arab Women Artists Now supporting one another
for Syrian photographer Ammar Abd Rabbo documenting the ravages of war
for the underground rappers in Cuba who work with youth to combat apathy
For Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
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 20

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:

Leviticus 2:1-13

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

When a person presents an offering of meal to the LORD, his offering shall be of choice flour; he shall pour oil upon it, lay frankincense on it, 2and present it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. The priest shall scoop out of it a handful of its choice flour and oil, as well as all of its frankincense; and this token portion he shall turn into smoke on the altar, as an offering by fire, of pleasing odor to the LORD. 3And the remainder of the meal offering shall be for Aaron and his sons, a most holy portion from the LORD’s offerings by fire.

4When you present an offering of meal baked in the oven, [it shall be of] choice flour: unleavened cakes with oil mixed in, or unleavened wafers spread with oil.

5If your offering is a meal offering on a griddle, it shall be of choice flour with oil mixed in, unleavened. 6Break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a meal offering.

7If your offering is a meal offering in a pan, it shall be made of choice flour in oil.

8When you present to the LORD a meal offering that is made in any of these ways, it shall be brought to the priest who shall take it up to the altar. 9The priest shall remove the token portion from the meal offering and turn it into smoke on the altar as an offering by fire, of pleasing odor to the LORD. 10And the remainder of the meal offering shall be for Aaron and his sons, a most holy portion from the LORD’s offerings by fire.

11No meal offering that you offer to the LORD shall be made with leaven, for no leaven or honey may be turned into smoke as an offering by fire to the LORD. 12You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of choice products;a but they shall not be offered up on the altar for a pleasing odor. 13You shall season your every offering of meal with salt; you shall not omit from your meal offering the salt of your covenant with God; with all your offerings you must offer salt.

 

Matthew 21:1-11

The Voice version

32At length, they made their way toward Jerusalem. Jesus was walking ahead of them. As they neared the city, wonder and amazement filled them. But soon those who were following began to tremble.

Jesus (taking the twelve aside): 33Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and there the Son of Man is going to be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They shall seek His death and deliver Him to the outsiders to carry out that sentence. 34Then people will mock Him, spit upon Him, whip Him, and kill Him. But on the third day, He will rise again.

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

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

Praise the LORD, for He is good,
His steadfast love is eternal.

2Let Israel declare,
“His steadfast love is eternal.”

19Open the gates of victorye for me
that I may enter them and praise the LORD.

20This is the gateway to the LORD—
the victorious shall enter through it.

21I praise You, for You have answered me,
and have become my deliverance.

22The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.

23This is the LORD’s doing;
it is marvelous in our sight.

24This is the day that the LORD has made—
let us exult and rejoice on it.

25O LORD, deliver us!
O LORD, let us prosper!

26May he who enters be blessed in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the House of the LORD.

27The LORD is God; He has given us light;
bind the festal offering to the horns of the altar

28You are my God and I will praise You;
You are my God and I will extol You.

29Praise the LORD for He is good,
His steadfast love is eternal.

Quran Surah 2.216-220

Quran: A Simple English Translation

221 Do not marry women who associate partners with God until they believe. A believing bondwoman is better than a woman who associates partners with God, however pleasing she may appear to you. Nor give believing women in marriage to men who associate partners with God, till they have believed; a believing bondman is certainly better than a man who associates partners with God, even though he may please you. Such people call you to Hell-fire; but God calls you to Paradise and to forgiveness. He makes His messages clear to people, so that they might bear them in mind.

222 They ask you about menstruation. Say, ‘It is an impurity, so keep away from women during it and do not approach them until they are cleansed; when they are cleansed you may approach them as God has ordained. God loves those who turn to Him in penitence and He loves those who keep themselves clean.

223 Your wives are your fields. Go, then, into your fields as you will. Send ahead [some good] for yourselves, and fear God, and know that you shall meet Him.’ Give good tidings to the believers.

224 Do not make God a pretext, when you swear by Him, to avoid doing good, being righteous and making peace between people. God is all hearing and all knowing.

Daily Buddhism Reading 

Bhagavad Gita

[2.28-32]

Before birth, beings are unmanifest;
between birth and death, manifest;
at death, unmanifest again.
What cause for grief in all this?

Some perceive it directly
in all its awesomeness; others
speak of it with wonder;
others hear of it and never know it.

This Self who dwells in the body
is inviolable, forever;
therefore you have no cause to grieve
for any being, Arjuna.

Know what your duty is
and do it without hesitation.
For a warrior, there is nothing better
than a battle that duty enjoins.

Blessed are warriors who are given
the chance of a battle like this,
which calls them to do what is right
and opens the gates of heaven.

 

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