One sad thing I've noticed on social media (mostly Facebook): That people no longer really debate issues, they participate in ad hominem arguments, attacking the person rather than the idea. A friend posted an article with a critique of one of the candidates and the immediate response was "you're wrong because the person making the critique is horrible." That actually doesn't make the ideas wrong. Even the most horrible people can have a good thought every now and again. Critique what he said!
I reposted a friend's blog article regarding the God's Not Dead 2 movie. The backlash on social media was that by actually talking about the movie, he was being hateful and making a martyr of himself. Again, not actually addressing the ideas within the blog post. So frustrating since he was making the point that imaginary persecution of Christians in the US (the story of the movie) is not actually what persecution of Christians looks like in the world (i.e. Lahore Park). And that martyrs are, in fact, a real thing paid for with a person's life. Not with a strong emotional attachment being denied.
Then, I shared an article about the roots of cornbread recipes. Sweet vs. unsweet! And discovered many intersections with friends regarding Jiffy cornbread. It was fun. But nobody connected with the article's premise that the cornbread divide was based on racial divisions created during the time of slavery.
It is an interesting time we live in. I wonder what keeps us from engaging fully with articles or people that would make us dig deeper? I know that it is an aversion to feelings of loss and destabilization. But these are just feelings! And feelings that must be experienced in order that we grow. Maybe we should require that all students join debate club! Perhaps we all lack an appreciation for the other.
In seminary, I had a professor who would talk about "holy envy." By holy envy, she meant the thing we see in the other person that is not from our tradition that we admire. For example, I have holy envy for the Muslim commitment to zakat. Zakat is giving to charity and is one of the pillars of Islam. I have holy envy for the Jewish Sabbath. What do you have holy envy for? Where can you stretch your understanding? How can you question with attacking?
Today's practice is inspired with music that brings two styles (classic and contemporary) together from Yngwie Malmsteen, slam poetry (a blend of poetry and performance) from Mallary M from Button Live, and sacred wisdom from Desmond Tutu along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita. The photo is mine. #nofilter
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--sigh
Icarus Dream Fanfare by Yngwie Malmsteen
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link
Qur'an Surah 3.18-25
Bhagavad Gita 3.12-16
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 Daily Torah Study, the Christian Lectionary, and reading the Qur'an and Bhagavad Gita straight through.
“Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."― Desmond Tutu
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the shooting at the Turkish embassy in Somalia
for the estimation that the melt in the Antarctic will double
for the use of forced labor in Qatar at the world cup site
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
272 incidents, 61 killed, 151 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the end of Argentina's struggle with creditors
for Columbia entering formal peace talks with ELM
for Mikaila Ulmer, an 11-year-old girl manufacturing lemonade to safe honeybees
for Abi’s Cafe in Minneapolis, who hired a homeless, ex-convict
For China, Honk Kong, and Macau
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.
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.
"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
Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text
16Then Moses inquired about the goat of sin offering, and it had already been burned! He was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and said, 17“Why did you not eat the sin offering in the sacred area? For it is most holy, and He has given it to you to remove the guilt of the community and to make expiation for them before the LORD. 18Since its blood was not brought inside the sanctuary, you should certainly have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.” 19And Aaron spoke to Moses, “See, this day they brought their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD, and such things have befallen me! Had I eaten sin offering today, would the LORD have approved?” 20And when Moses heard this, he approved.
Jewish Publication Society of America (2000-12-01). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text (p. 168). Jewish Publication Society. Kindle Edition.
Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures--The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text
1My soul, bless the Lord. My God, You are very great, You are attired with majesty and beauty.
2[You] enwrap Yourself with light like a garment; [You] extend the heavens like a curtain.
3Who roofs His upper chambers with water; Who makes clouds His chariot, which goes on the wings of the wind.
4He makes winds His messengers, burning fire His ministers.
5He founded the earth on its foundations that it not falter to eternity.
6You covered the deep as [with] a garment; the waters stand on the mountains.
7From Your rebuke they fled; from the sound of Your thunder they hastened away.
8They ascended mountains, they descended into valleys to this place, which You had founded for them.
9You set a boundary that they should not cross, that they should not return to cover the earth.
10He sends the springs into the streams; they go between the mountains.
11They water every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12Beside them the fowl of the heavens dwell; from between the branches they let out their voices.
13He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; from the fruit of Your works the earth is sated.
14He causes grass to sprout for the animals and vegetation for the work of man, to bring forth bread from the earth.
15And wine, which cheers man's heart, to make the face shine from oil, and bread, which sustains man's heart.
16The Lord's trees are sated, the cedars of Lebanon, which He planted.
17Where birds nest; as for the stork-the high junipers are its home.
18The lofty mountains for the ibexes; the rocks a shelter for the hyraxes.
19He made the moon for the appointed seasons; the sun knows its setting.
20You make darkness and it is night, in which every beast of the forest moves about.
21The young lions roar for prey and to beg their food from God.
22When the sun rises they gather in and couch in their dens.
23Man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
24How great are Your works, O Lord! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is full of Your possessions!
25This sea-great and wide; there are creeping things and innumerable beasts, both small and large.
26There the ships go; You formed this leviathan with which to sport.
27They all look to You with hope, to give their food in its time.
28You give them that they may gather; You open Your hand that they may be sated with goodness.
29You hide Your countenance and they are frightened; You gather in their spirit and they perish and return to their dust.
30You will send forth Your spirit and they will be created, and You will renew the surface of the ground.
31The glory of the Lord will be forever; the Lord will rejoice with His works.
32He Who looks at the earth and it quakes; He touches the mountains and they emit smoke.
33I shall sing to the Lord while I am alive; I shall sing praises to my God as long as I exist.
34May my speech be pleasing to Him; I shall rejoice with the Lord.
35Sinners will be destroyed from the earth and the wicked will be no more; my soul, bless the Lord. Hallelujah.
The Voice version
2 Pray, and keep praying. Be alert and thankful when you pray. 3 And while you are at it, add us to your prayers. Pray that God would open doors and windows and minds and eyes and hearts for the word so we can go on telling the mystery of the Anointed, for this is exactly why I am currently imprisoned. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message clearly and fearlessly as I should.
5 Be wise when you engage with those outside the faith community; make the most of every moment and every encounter.
Ecclesia Bible Society (2012-04-09). The Voice Bible, eBook: Step Into the Story of Scripture. Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Quran Surah 3.18-25
Quran: A Simple English Translation
18 God bears witness that there is no deity save Him, as do the angels and those who possess knowledge. He is the upholder of justice. There is no diety save Him, the Mighty, the Wise One.
19 The only true religion in God’s sight is complete submission to God. And those who were given the Book disagreed only out of rivalry, after knowledge had been given to them— he who denies God’s signs should know that God is swift in His reckoning.
20 If they dispute with you, say, ‘I have submitted my whole being to God and so have those who follow me.’ And ask those who have been given the Book, as well as the unlettered, ‘Do you submit yourselves to God in the same way?’ If they submit themselves to Him, they are on the right path; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the message. God is observant of all His servants.
21 Those who deny God’s signs and kill the prophets unjustly and kill those who enjoin justice— give them warning of a woeful punishment— 22 their deeds will come to nothing in this world as well as in the hereafter; they will have no supporters.
23 Have you not seen those who received a portion of the Book? When they are invited to accept the judgement of God’s Book, a group of them turns away in aversion.
24 That is because they say, ‘The Fire will touch us only for a limited number of days.’ Thus the false beliefs which they have invented have deluded them in the matter of their religion.
25 How will it be when We gather them all together upon a Day which is sure to come, when every human being shall be repaid in full for what he has done? They will not be wronged.
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin; Goodword (2013-12-11). Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword ! Koran) (Kindle Locations 887-900). Goodword Books. Kindle Edition.
Bhagavad Gita 3.12-16
“Nourished by your worship,
the gods will grant whatever you desire;
but he who accepts their gifts
and gives nothing back, is a thief.”
Good men are released from their sins
when they eat food offered in worship;
but the wicked devour their own evil
when they cook for themselves alone.
Beings arise from food;
food arises from rain;
rain arises from worship;
worship, from ritual action;
ritual action, from God;
God, from the deathless Self.
Thus, the all-present God
requires the worship of men.
He who fails to keep turning
the wheel thus set in motion
has damaged the working of the world
and has wasted his life, Arjuna.
Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-18). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (Kindle Locations 497-503). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.