Monday of Holy Week
(c) 2010, T. Stewart
Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
What does the Lord require?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
And here we have it again. Why did JHWH form a people set apart called Israel? “To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”
This morning, I am caught between two baptisms. One, the shower cleansing my son as he readies for school, the other, the rain coming down outside and the splat splat splattering made when the gutters need cleaning and there is a little overflow…cleansing the earth. I wonder what would happen if we treated each cleansing as a reconnection to God? And if each baptism made a new creation? And if each new creation was something in which God was well pleased? And if we could see that God is well pleased with everything that is baptized? Everything. Every thing. The earth, the grass, the dandelions, the annoying raccoon, the even more annoying teenage son…
And what if everything that is baptized took its baptism seriously? Oooo….then we approach social justice land where we open the eyes of the blind, bring prisoners out of their jails, and bring to the light, those who live in dungeons. Of course, there are two readings of this. Literal, which is the social justice reading and metaphor which is a spiritual justice. But is there spiritual justice without physical, social justice? Can the spirit/soul be freed without the body? Isn’t there some embodiment to our faith? And in our embodiment, should we not focus on bringing the prisoners out of the physical and spiritual jail? I think so. The soul cannot be fully freed unless the body is turned away from that which imprisons it. To be sure, there can be sparks of freedom, but the soul numbing weariness of being physically imprisoned by social unjustice is like continually spraying a fire with water. It is not an efficient way to tend fires.
So, what if we take seriously, the idea that “I am my brother’s keeper?” Then I am fairly bound to tend my brother’s fire efficiently. I guess that means I will have to stop dousing it with water.
I just realized that I have fully circled back to the water image again. But this time, it is a water that I don’t want…it is not the water of baptism, but the water of the destructive flood. Ooo, my head is beginning to flood itself with too many metaphors and entanglements of watery and baptism thoughts. 😛
OK, keep it simple, act justly, love mercy, walk humbly, with God.