Daily Practice for 2016.03.21

Word:

In Christian tradition, this is day 2 of Holy Week. Day 1, Sunday, is usually marked by a remembering of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a colt in the midst of many people waving palms in celebration. Day 2 is often unremarked. In fact, it is what is now known as Table Turning Monday. It is the day that Jesus went to the Temple and found the money changers on the outside. And in a deliberate act, made a whip, and drove out those that would profit off of people trying to do their deliberate duty--turning the tables over in the process.

Both of these acts are highly political. The entering into Jerusalem on a colt is in direct opposition to the military might of Rome where Pontius Pilate entered Jerusalem during Passover on a warhorse as was his tradition. Turning the tables was an act of rebellion against the church and political structures that made life into a market place--commodifying people's deepest desires.

This leads to the question, what can I do to stand in opposition to the machine of war and the marketplace? That place where people's bodies and spirits are commodified? Ultimately, this question is answered by how I practice nonviolence with myself and the people I encounter.

Today's practice is inspired with music by Ólafur Arnalds, a poem from Maya Angelou, and sacred wisdom from Jodi Picoult along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita.  And a shout out to George Lamson for the beautiful photo.

I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, Giselle Lawn reminds us of the daring of speaking truth to power. And that this truth is always grounded in an invitational drive towards more love, more inclusion, more grace. Turning the tables on the politics of war.

#itstime to see each other as gift, pure gift. Only when we can look on all people through the eyes of loving kindness will we be able to move beyond the warhorses.

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--shhh

Music:

Þú ert sólin (You Are the Sun) by Ólafur Arnalds

Readings:

Alone by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

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

1 Samuel 15:10-26
John 12:1-11
Psalm 36:5-11
Qur'an Surah 2.225-233
Bhagavad Gita 2.33-37

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

“Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” ― Jodi Picoult

Prayers:

2016.03.21

For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the farming crisis in India and all those who are affected
for those affected by the bus crash in Spain
for those affected by the "Pay to Pray" scam run by the Christian Prayer Center
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
240 incidents, 78 killed, 166 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for Nigerian peace activist Hafsat Mohammed of Nigeria
for finding 139 endangered tortoises abandoned by smugglers
for the birth of 5 Cheetah cubs in a zoo after a rare Cheetah C-Section
for the rescue of the few remaining Jews in Yemen
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 21

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 15:10-26

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

10The word of the LORD then came to Samuel: 11“ I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from Me and has not carried out My commands.” Samuel was distressed and he entreated the LORD all night long. 12Early in the morning Samuel went to meet Saul. Samuel was told, “Saul went to Carmel, where he erected a monument for himself; then he left and went on down to Gilgal.”

13When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have fulfilled the LORD’s command.” 14“ Then what,” demanded Samuel, “is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of oxen that I hear?” 15Saul answered, “They were brought from the Amalekites, for the troops spared the choicest of the sheep and oxen for sacrificing to the LORD your God. And we proscribed the rest.” 16Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night!” “Speak,” he replied. 17And Samuel said, “You may look small to yourself, but you are the head of the tribes of Israel. The LORD anointed you king over Israel, 18and the LORD sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and proscribe the sinful Amalekites; make war on them until you have exterminated them.’ 19Why did you disobey the LORD and swoop down on the spoil in defiance of the LORD’s will?”20Saul said to Samuel, “But I did obey the LORD! I performed the mission on which the LORD sent me: I captured King Agag of Amalek, and I proscribed Amalek, 21and the troops took from the spoil some sheep and oxen— the best of what had been proscribed— to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” 22But Samuel said:

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As much as in obedience to the LORD’s command?
Surely, obedience is better than sacrifice,
Compliance than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
Defiance, like the iniquity of teraphim.
Because you rejected the LORD’s command,
He has rejected you as king.”

24Saul said to Samuel, “I did wrong to transgress the LORD’s command and your instructions; but I was afraid of the troops and I yielded to them. 25Please, forgive my offense and come back with me, and I will bow low to the LORD.” 26But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not go back with you; for you have rejected the LORD’s command, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel.”

John 12:1-11

The Voice version

1Six days before the Passover feast, Jesus journeyed to the village of Bethany, to the home of Lazarus who had recently been raised from the dead, 2where they hosted Him for dinner. Martha was busy serving as the hostess, Lazarus reclined at the table with Him, 3and Mary took a pound of fine ointment, pure nard (which is both rare and expensive), and anointed Jesus’ feet with it; and then she wiped them with her hair. As the pleasant fragrance of this extravagant ointment filled the entire house, 4Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (who was plotting to betray Jesus), began to speak.

Judas Iscariot: 5How could she pour out this vast amount of fine oil? Why didn’t she sell it? It is worth nearly a year’s wages; the money could have been given to the poor.

6This had nothing to do with Judas’s desire to help the poor. The truth is he served as the treasurer, and he helped himself to the money from the common pot at every opportunity.

Jesus: 7Leave her alone. She has observed this custom in anticipation of the day of My burial. 8The poor are ever present, but I will be leaving.

9Word spread of Jesus’ presence, and a large crowd was gathering to see Jesus and the formerly deceased Lazarus, whom He had brought back from the dead. 10The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus’s murder since, 11because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.

Psalm 36

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

For the leader. Of the servant of the LORD, of David.

2-I know what Transgression says to the wicked;
he has no sense of the dread of God,
3because its speech is seductive to him
till his iniquity be found out and he be hated.

4His words are evil and deceitful;
he will not consider doing good.

5In bed he plots mischief;
he is set on a path of no good, he does not reject evil.

6O LORD, Your faithfulness reaches to heaven;
Your steadfastness to the sky;

7Your beneficence is like the high mountains;
Your justice like the great deep;
man and beast You deliver, O LORD.

8How precious is Your faithful care, O God!
Mankind shelters in the shadow of Your wings.

9They feast on the rich fare of Your house;
You let them drink at Your refreshing stream.

10With You is the fountain of life;
by Your light do we see light.

11Bestow Your faithful care on those devoted to You,
and Your beneficence on upright men.

12Let not the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

13There lie the evildoers, fallen,
thrust down, unable to rise.

Quran Surah 2.225-233

Quran: A Simple English Translation

225 God will not call you to account for any oaths you uttered unintentionally, but He will take you to task for what is intended in your hearts. God is most forgiving and forbearing.

226 For those who swear that they will not approach their wives, there shall be a waiting period of four months: if they revert to conciliation, surely, God is most forgiving and ever merciful; 227 but if they decide upon divorce, God is all hearing and all knowing.

228 Divorced women should wait for three menstrual cycles; it is unlawful for them, if they believe in God and the Last Day, to hide what God has created in their wombs. Their husbands have the right to take them back within that time, if they desire to be reconciled. The wives have rights corresponding to those which the husbands have, according to what is recognized to be fair, but men have a rank above them. God is almighty and all wise.

229 Divorce may be pronounced twice, and then a woman must be retained honourably or released with kindness. It is not lawful for you to take away anything of what you have given your wives, unless both fear that they would not be able to observe the bounds set by God. In such a case it shall be no sin for either of them if the woman opts to give something for her release. These are the bounds set by God; do not transgress them. Those who transgress the bounds of God are wrongdoers.

230 And if man finally divorces his wife, he cannot remarry her until she has married another man. Then if the next husband divorces her, there will be no blame on either of them if the former husband and wife return to one another, provided they think that they can keep within the bounds set by God. These are the bounds prescribed by God, which He makes clear to men of understanding.

231 Once you divorce women, and they have reached the end of their waiting period, then either retain them in all decency or part from them decently. Do not retain them in order to harm them or to wrong them. Whoever does this, wrongs his own soul. Do not make a mockery of God’s revelations. Remember the favours God has bestowed upon you, and the Book and the wisdom He has revealed to exhort you. Fear God and know that God is aware of everything.

232 When you divorce women and they reach the end of their waiting period, do not prevent them from marrying other men, if they have come to an honourable agreement. This is enjoined on every one of you who believes in God and the Last Day; it is more wholesome and purer for you. God knows, but you do not know.

233 And the [divorced] mothers should nurse their children for two whole years, if they wish to complete the period of nursing; and during that period the father of the child shall be responsible for the maintenance of the mother in a reasonable manner. No soul is charged with more than it can bear. No mother should be made to suffer on account of her child, and no father should be made to suffer on account of his child. The same duties devolve upon the father’s heir [in case of the death of the father]. But if, after consultation, they choose by mutual agreement to wean the child, there shall be no blame on them. Nor shall it be any offence for you if you desire to engage a wet-nurse for your children, provided you hand over what you have agreed to pay, in a reasonable manner. Have fear of God and know that God is observant of all your actions.

Daily Buddhism Reading 

Bhagavad Gita

[2.33-37]

But if you refuse the call
to a righteous war, and shrink from
what duty and honor dictate,
you will bring down ruin on your head.

Decent men, for all time,
will talk about your disgrace;
and disgrace, for a man of honor,
is a fate far worse than death.

These great heroes will think
that fear has driven you from battle;
all those who once esteemed you
will think of you with contempt.

And your enemies will sneer and mock you:
“The mighty Arjuna, that brave man—
he slunk from the field like a dog.”
What deeper shame could there be?

If you are killed, you gain heaven;
triumph, and you gain the earth.
Therefore stand up, Arjuna;
steady your mind to fight.

 

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