Monday, I had the first meeting for Juvenile Justice ministry practitioners that were attempting to become unsilo'ed. That is people, for the first time, were coming together across boundaries and learning about each other and how we fit together. The energy in the room was exciting. There was one person who is an ex-offender from Skagit Valley. He was stunned that there were so many people that wanted to make the world of incarceration better for youth. In his part of the world, there is not many people. That is a bit of what concerns me about the energy within Seattle for reform. It is largely by Seattle, for Seattle. That is a bit like getting all the Sen. Sanders fans to agree that Sen. Sanders is great! (or substitute any one politician). But getting state-wide reform will take change in the Spokane Valley, Skagit Valley, the Yakima Valley...all the valleys, mountains and rivers in Washington...to agree in principle. That will take a lot more vision.
One thing that struck me was the statement that Washington has approximately the same amount of people incarcerated as it has churches. This led to the creation of a motto: One parish, one prisoner. In addition, what if each parish adopted one school.
One parish, one prisoner.
One parish, one school.
This has been echoing in my head and heart since Monday. One parish, one prisoner. One parish, one school. Over and over. How do we make this happen?
Today's practice is inspired by music from Hamilton, poetry from Wendell Berry, and sacred wisdom from Bryan Stevenson along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita. The photo is mine.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--hum
Look Around by Cast of Hamilton
Look at where you are
Look at where you started
The fact that you’re alive is a miracle
Just stay alive, that would be enough
It is the destruction of the world
in our own lives that drives us
half insane, and more than half.
To destroy that which we were given
in trust: how will we bear it?
It is our own bodies that we give
to be broken, our bodies
existing before and after us
in clod and cloud, worm and tree,
that we, driving or driven, despise
in our greed to live, our haste
to die. To have lost, wantonly,
the ancient forests, the vast grasslands
is our madness, the presence
in our very bodies of our grief.
Berry, Wendell (2013-09-16). This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (Kindle Locations 1171-1177). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link
Qur'an Surah 3.51-60
Bhagavad Gita 3.32-35
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.
“There is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.” ― Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the chemical weapons attack by IS in Syria
for Mississippi's lawful codification of bigotry
for global rise in executions, with 1,630 people put to death in 2015
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72, hours,
245 incidents, 57 killed, 148 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the cease fire between Azerbaijan and Armenian fighters
for the EU's proposition of new, more human rules for refugee asylum
for the freeing of two people kidnapped four months ago in Iraq
for PayPal that is no longer going to expand into North Carolina
For Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore
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
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
24 If [a person's] flesh has a fire burn on its skin, and on the healed area of the burn, there is a reddish white or white bahereth,
25 the kohen shall look at it. And, behold! the hair has turned white in the bahereth, and its appearance is deeper than the skin, it is tzara'ath which has spread in the burn. So, the kohen shall pronounce him unclean. It is a lesion of tzara'ath.
26 But, if the kohen looks at it, and, behold! there is no white hair in the bahereth, and it is not lower than the skin and it is dim, the kohen shall quarantine him for seven days.
27 And the kohen shall look at it on the seventh day. If it has spread on the skin, the kohen shall pronounce him unclean. It is a lesion of tzara'ath.
28 But if the bahereth remains in its place, not increasing on the skin, and it is dim, it is a se'eith of the burn, and the kohen shall pronounce him clean, because it is the scar tissue of the burn.
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
1 A song of ascents. In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.
2 O Lord, save my soul from false lips, from a deceitful tongue.
3 What can He give you, and what can He add to you, you deceitful tongue?
4 Sharpened arrows of a mighty man with coals of brooms.
5 Woe is to me for I have sojourned in Meshech; I dwelt among the tents of Kedar.
6 For a long time, my soul dwelt with those who hate peace.
7I am at peace, but when I speak, they [come] to [wage] war.
The Voice version
Scribes and Pharisees: 38 Teacher, we want to see some miraculous sign from You.
Jesus: 39 You wicked and promiscuous generation—you are looking for signs, are you? The only sign you will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, as the Son of Man will spend three days and three nights in the belly of the earth. 41 One day, the people of Nineveh will rise up in judgment and will condemn your present generation—for the Ninevites turned from sin to God when they heard Jonah preach, and now One far greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will also stand in judgment and condemn this generation—for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. And today One greater and wiser than Solomon is among you.
Quran Surah 3.51-60
Quran: A Simple English Translation
51 God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.”’
52 When Jesus perceived their denial, he said, ‘Who will be my helpers in God’s cause?’ The disciples said, ‘We are God’s helpers, we believe in God. Bear witness that we have surrendered ourselves. 53 Our Lord, we believe in what You have sent down and we follow the messenger, so count us among those who bear witness.’
54 And they schemed but God also schemed and God is the Best of Schemers.
55 God said, ‘O Jesus, I shall take you to Me and will raise you up to Me and shall clear you [of the calumnies] of the disbelievers, and shall place those who follow you above those who deny the truth, until the Day of Judgement; then to Me shall all return and I will judge between you regarding your disputes. 56 Those who deny the truth shall be sternly punished in this world and in the world to come: there shall be none to help them.’ 57 As for those who have believed and do good works, they shall be given their reward in full. God does not love evil-doers. 58 This which We recite to you is a revelation and a wise reminder. 59 Jesus in the sight of God is like Adam. He created him from dust; then said to him, ‘Be!’ and he was. 60 This is the truth from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters.
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin; Goodword (2013-12-11). Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword ! Koran) (Kindle Locations 945-958). Goodword Books. Kindle Edition.
Bhagavad Gita 3.32-35
But those who, mistrustful, half-hearted,
fail to practice my teaching,
wander in the darkness, lost,
stupefied by delusion.
Even the wise man acts
in accordance with his inner nature.
All beings follow their nature.
What good can repression do?
Craving and aversion arise
when the senses encounter sense-objects.
Do not fall prey to these two
brigands blocking your path.
It is better to do your own duty badly,
than to perfectly do another’s;
you are safe from harm
when you do what you should be doing.
Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-18). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (Kindle Locations 527-532). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.