Something has been on my heart since December. For the past 4 months I’ve been having an internal struggle and dialog with myself about this. I have debated whether or not to share my feelings and have waited this long because often, I don’t even know what my feelings really are. When you hear a Christian say “something has been on my heart” you better sit down or walk the other direction because things are about to get serious. (more…)
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Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on April 16, 2013
Be Still, My Soul
Katharina von Schlegel (1752)
Be still, my soul: for God is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Trust in your God, your savior and your guide,
who through all changes faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a peaceful end.
Be still, my soul: for God will undertake
to guide the future surely as the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the voice that calmed them in this world below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall dwell with God forever more,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and bless-ed we shall meet at last.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on March 11, 2013
I have a confession to make. My attempt to keep up with the daily laundry for Lent has been abysmal. By the third day I was already so far gone I figured that there was no way I could make it to the end of March. Every single day I either think “I’m going to start anew. I can do this!” or “I’m just going to forget about this whole stupid idea. I can’t put away laundry. I’m a complete Lent failure.” Unfortunately, most days it’s the latter. Thankfully God never gives up on me.
The other part of my personal Lent challenge, daily devotional, has been a little bit better than my laundry challenge. One of the devotionals from last month connected with me. Letting go. As parents we really want to hold our little ones close, and that’s okay, especially when the world is such a scary place. But if we hover and guard and don’t let them spread their wings they won’t ever learn to fly on their own. In our spiritual lives if we keep our cards too close to our chest or don’t take a chance when we feel the Spirit move, we may never realize our potential.
The following is from Selena Wright
On the day my daughter was born, something broke (besides my water!) A connection was broken. There was a cord that linked us together; it was her lifeline for nine months and on the day that she and I yelled and pushed our way to new life, I had to let go. I had to watch her dad cut the cord that connected us. t had to happen, but I still grieved.
No more kicks, no more hiccups, and no longer would she belong to no one but me. Yet that very cord that sustained her life would prohibit it. The cord had to be cut so that her dad could take her for a walk, so that her grandma could bathe her, and her sister could hold her. I didn’t want to let go when I thought of all that I would lose, our connection, my ability to keep her safe and warm, but it happened, when I consented to let go…it didn’t even hurt! It seems the things we desperately want to hold on to can only truly bless us when we let them go.
There is much in all of our lives that we create or hold or carry, from ideas and energy to forgiveness and hope. We get used to these things living inside us. When they remain in our head or our hearts, we have control over them and they belong to us alone, but if we keep them too long, they will die. They way of creation calls us to bring forth life and to let go. For only when we give our gifts to the world, can those gifts live and grow!
It’s so easy to stuff good ideas back down before they made us move and do what’s right. It’s easy to look the other way when we see something that quickens our spirit and says “do something before it’s too late!” It’s easy to convince ourselves to hold on to our good ideas or our hurt or our forgiveness because letting go is hard. Letting go means action and action takes work. It’s so much easier to stay complacent or overly protective. Like Selena Wright said; “Only when we give our gifts to the world, can those gifts live and grow.”
Is there anything you want to let go of?
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on March 1, 2013
It’s that time of year again…Lent. Once again I struggled with what to give up or add. I find it difficult to find things to “cut out” of my daily life. I can’t really think of a vice or something that I would go nuts over if I couldn’t have it for 40 days (except pasta and/or blogging, but let’s not get crazy). So, I try to think of things to add that will cause suffering and reflection. I seriously considered making myself get up before 6 a.m. every morning but let’s be real here. I would just be setting myself up for failure. Thursday morning after Ash Wednesday the first thing I thought to myself as I had to drag myself out of bed at 6:50 a.m. in order to fix Addison’s lunch was Thank God I didn’t go for that get up early thing. That was stupid. My next idea was to try to find time everyday to get outside and walk or exercise by myself. I quickly brushed that idea aside as it’s still cold outside and I hate being cold. Whenever I see people jogging in 40 degrees and wind I wonder what the hell is wrong with them. Plus, when would I find time to get outside and exercise? That would mean I would have to get up early. Nope. My next idea was to spend 40 days looking for the beauty around me and record my findings whether it be in pictures or a journal. When I said it out loud it sounded lame so I went back to the drawing board.
I’ve finally settled on the same thing I’ve done for the past two years, reading a daily devotional. I’ve found it to be thought-provoking and spiritually rewarding so I figured the method tried and true. I mentioned above that my qualifications for adding something to my life are suffering and reflection. One may wonder how spending time each day in devotion can cause suffering. I’m here to report that finding 30 quiet minutes to myself is a difficult if not impossible task. Can I get an “amen sister” from my stay-at-home moms? My 3-year-old doesn’t nap so I have to learn to tune out the sounds of Dora and Max & Ruby (where are their parents anyway? I’m getting worried) if I want to spend any time in “quiet” reflection. The temptation to hide oneself in the bathroom in order to get away from it all is great. I wonder if Jesus felt this way. Desert, toilet closet, little hands rattling the locked door, Satan tempting Jesus to prove himself. I’m seeing similarities here. It’s all in how you look at it.
I’m toying with the idea of making myself put away the clean laundry the same day it has been washed. This may seem trivial to some but for me it could prove to be a real challenge. I don’t know what it is about folding and putting away clean laundry but I. Hate. It. And there is so much of it. There are only 4 of us but why do we create so much damn laundry? I keep wondering what women did before the convenience of a washer and dryer. What did Caroline Ingalls do with those dusty shirts and layers of skirts? What did Marmee and her little women do with all those petticoats and tight bodices? I’ll tell you what they did. They stunk. They had smaller wardrobes and wore their clothes over and over and over before they had to wash it. I guess they were used to the smell. It’s something to consider.
What are you doing for Lent? Adding or subtracting?
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on February 18, 2013
I know this is long but it is so worth it. Rev. David Spain of First Christian Church of Norman gave this sermon on January 6 and I knew the minute I heard it that his message needed to go out beyond our congregation. We need to keep this conversation going lest we become too comfortable in our every day lives, fall back into our routines and Sandy Hook fades in our memory.
Thank you for reading and if you are so moved, please share.
“Homage for the Child(ren)”
Matthew 2: 1 – 12
January 6, 2013
It has been 23 days since the horror of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut and except for a prayer at the 8:40 service on the Sunday immediately following that was printed in the Norman Christian newsletter, I have said nothing about that terrible day. In the 24/7 cycle that is the news, 23 days is an eternity; in the lives of those forever changed, it is barely the blink of an eye. My own silence has been intentional, for both personal and theological reasons. Personally, I was so unhinged by what is now not even the latest in an all too common occurrence of gun violence in America, that I did not trust my ability to make helpful or even coherent comments. The grief was too great, the anger too deep, and the one letter I quickly dashed off to a state representative that night was sincere but not helpful. The other reason for silence until today is theologically rooted. In the biblical story of Job, you remember he lost everything—children, property, health—he was devastated. As good friends do, they came to his side and sat with him for 7 days in complete silence. It was the high point of his friends’ ministry to Job, because come the 8th day and they opened their mouths to talk theology, all manner of unfortunate, unhelpful, and painful comments were offered.
In the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, a number of people made a number of comments. Without a doubt, when something horrific happens, and especially when children are involved, all of us struggle to make sense out of it. That is what we do—we are meaning seeking people and that is good. I do not for a second doubt the broken hearts or the good will of those who made some of the comments in the days following; I merely contend with the wisdom and the theological content of some of what was said. Not unique to the citizens of Newtown, but said in the wake of that horrific day were comments such as now there are more twinkling stars in the heavens, or God needed another angel, or God saw fit to call them home, or your children are not really yours but only on loan to you, or at least you have other children or are young enough to have more children, or God never gives you more than you can handle*—which is problematic at several levels—not the least of which is that it is not biblical, and it also suggests that whatever happens comes from God and if you can’t handle it then there must be something lacking in your faith. In one way, I agree with that bromide—God does not give you more than you can handle because this was not from God; this was not God’s will. Tragedy, suffering, pain, and death perpetrated by people onto people is not the will of God. I understand why people make comments such as these, for we all try to make sense of it; but sometimes and maybe most of the time, especially at first, the best comment is no comment except to offer our compassionate presence to any and all who suffer. They do not need our words; they need our ears and our arms.
There comes a time of course, when silence can be interpreted as acquiescence or approval or apathy. The author of Ecclesiastes wrote in his oft quoted poem “there is a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There were a few voices—some of them public or who have access to public outlets—who less than 24 hours after the horror, began to speak in ways that were not only deeply disturbing but theologically shortsighted. While perhaps these who so commented were trying to make meaning of it all, it felt as if there were a few who in the guise of theology were actually making political commentary by suggesting the absence of prayer in public school was related to the cause of the massacre. To be sure, only God can see into the human heart and its intensions, but regardless of the motivation, a few spoke politically at a time when it was best to keep silence, and in so speaking delivered what is not only constitutionally untenable but theologically abhorrent. As indefensible as this was, speaking politically under the guise of theology is not even what is most troubling.
In a town like Newtown, and now all across America, the variety of religious expression is more diverse than ever. To legislate and mandate prayer in the public school would require that a decision be made by someone as to the nature of that prayer—a generic Protestant prayer, a Catholic prayer, an Eastern orthodox prayer, a Jewish prayer, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Which prayer, who leads? Teachers and principals have more than enough to do; are they now to become theologians? To be sure, so many in the teaching field are nurturing and pastoral, yet not to be pastors. But to add that onto teachers is not even what is most troubling.
One reaction to horrifying events is to want to return to some era gone by when whatever is happening now was not happening then. That is understandable. To those who yearn for that era of prayer in public schools, it is important to remember that was the era of cruel and abiding segregation where the privileged prayed and prospered in well-appointed schools while the poor prayed but suffered in substandard schools. There is a big difference between piety and justice. But to yearn for a by-gone era of myopic comfort is not even what is most troubling.
To suggest that God can be legislated into or out of any place is an affront to all who believe that God needs no intermediary nor do we, but that a direct relationship with God is available to any who would seek God. This can be done anytime, anywhere; and it is human arrogance to think that God is some kind of object who can be captured in stone on the city square or excised out of the conscience of the individual. But even this is not what is most troubling.
To suggest that God was not somehow present in the Sandy Hook school is to miss the theological truth that God is present wherever there is hurt or suffering; and that in acts of courage and compassion God is deeply present. That morning, in the face of maniacal carnage, there were teachers who shielded children, protected children, and confronted the 20 year old perpetrator of this horror. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” God was profoundly, courageously, and sacrificially in that school that day in ways that few if any of us can imagine; and I am sick and tired of hearing about the absence of God in public schools. I don’t know about salaries in the Newtown public schools, but if you teach in Oklahoma, try feeding a family of four on a teacher’s salary while working 12 to 14 hour days. Our teachers live sacrificially, courageously, compassionately. If you want to see God in the public schools, then look into the face of teachers.
In an effort to address what is becoming an all too frequent occurrence in our culture, some have suggested and will suggest that armed officers be placed in every school, which is an absurdist move as it is cost prohibitive; and a few have called for arming teachers which would be laughable except that such legislation may be proposed. It is hard not to recall what William Sloan Coffin once said, that we are more and more resembling the dinosaur—heavily armored and very small brains. The dinosaur became extinct; they had no choice. But we do.
When it comes to dealing with the variety of causes for this scourge in our culture, some have asked why God lets this kind of thing happen. I feel quite certain God will ask of us, “Why do you let this happen?” If the death of 6 and 7 year old children does not move us to engage in national soul-searching, then what has become of our humanity? It would be easy to render the 20 year old a monster and in so doing exonerate ourselves from any connection to the larger issues that create this increasingly common phenomenon. What he did was unspeakable—I don’t even know what words to use; but there are ways to consider and words to say as we think about a culture which can only blindly now refer to these as isolated events. Ours is a culture of entertainment in which killing has become sport and I can’t help but wonder if the video game industry and movie industry and television industry are somehow desensitizing our sense of humanity so much so that the other is only an object and not a God-created human being. Ours is a culture of self-absorption where the message is life’s goal is self-satisfaction in which the world exists to gratify me and individual rights have become the golden calf around which we are to dance. Ours is a culture of vengeance, where from the comic book super hero to the sports icon, from the politician to the media industry, what is glorified is getting even, getting back, annihilating the other. Ours is a culture of violence, fueled by the myth of redemptive violence, in which the statistics of gun violence in this culture are astounding; where thousands more are killed by guns each year than were killed on 9/11. In response to 9/11 we have spent trillions of dollars; in response to gun violence in America we have done nothing. Ours is a culture where it is much easier to get a gun than it is to get a counselor. Jesus said, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” In America, we are doing both; we are both living and dying by the sword.
To discuss guns in the American culture is to consider the second amendment; and it is an important consideration. Often forgotten in the discussion is that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is set in the context of a well-regulated militia. But even if you fail to see the need of a well-regulated militia as constitutionally established, the justification for assault weapons and rapid-firing clips which make it capable to kill effectively, quickly, and thoroughly is repulsive. The second amendment is not undermined by the compassionate, courageous, and reasonable limitation of weaponry like this, and the argument that such limitation is a slippery slope jeopardizing all gun ownership is a manipulative ploy meant to silence reasonable discussion; and our children are dying because reasonable minds have been portrayed as unpatriotic and reasonable voices have been silenced.
You will note that no mention has been made of the magi. This story from Matthew’s gospel has been, for me, the playful part of the Christmas story, as I have tended to romanticize the journey of the magi even as the story makes a deep theological proclamation that this child born in Bethlehem is not the provincial property of one religious group, but is for the entire world. In the last 23 days, I’m seeing this story differently—that these wise, intelligent if not perhaps star-struck yet hopeful adults are envisioning a different way of living and being and as an expression of that hope, pay homage not to all those who hold conventional power, but to a little child. While the status quo of imperial power as embodied by Herod ruthlessly disregards the children, these magi pay homage to the child and then return to their homes by another way.
Does the birth we have just celebrated and to which we pay homage make a difference in our lives and in this world? Is this one, born a child and yet a king, the prince of peace, one who can shape and reshape another way? To be sure this is a personal question, but I have seen now as never before what T.S. Eliot meant when he wrote of the magi that after paying homage to the Christ, “we returned to our places, these kingdoms, but no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation.” At the very least, I pray to God we are no longer comfortable in the old dispensation—for the sake of the Christ child, for the sake of all the children, I pray we are no longer comfortable in the old dispensation and that like the magi we will return by another way.
*Several of these comments listed in this paragraph were brought to my attention by Dr. Roger Paynter of the First Baptist Church of Austin.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on January 10, 2013
You know what’s awesome? Having your 2 year old tell you he needs to potty…while you’re in the shower. All parents of toddlers know that when a potty-training child says pee-pee, you jump. Nothing like leaning over the toilet, helping direct a stream of pee, wrapped in a towel and dripping wet. That was me on Friday morning.
After last Friday, this silly situation along with all the other ridiculous things our kids do to drive us crazy, were seen in a new light. I saw friends on Facebook anxiously awaiting their kids return from school ready for a big hug. Parents who wanted to crawl in bed with their small ones that night just so they could hold them close. Joining in play time instead of turning on the TV. The grief of the parents in Connecticut has become our grief and opened our eyes to how quickly childhood slips by. Once again, our world is turned upside down and we take stock of what is really important. Once again we wonder how, why and where. How and why could God let this happen? Where was God when this horrific event took place?
We all have to answer our own questions to make sense of the senseless. After reflection and tears I have come up with the only answer that I can imagine to make any sense. God did not allow this to happen. It just did. Horrible things happen in this world because it’s an imperfect world. Where was God? God was there. We call God compassionate but have we ever thought about what that really means? Com (with) Passion (suffering). God is there/here suffering with us. God is not far away in the cosmos watching it all happen. God is experiencing all of it with us, knowing the pain of those parents, holding those children in His love, experiencing our confusion and grief. How bitterly ironic that the unthinkable happened 10 days before we celebrate God made flesh. Just as we are about to celebrate God’s best expression of love, we experience the darkest part of free will.
One thing I do know for sure is that what happened is not a result of God’s anger at our country. Horrible things happening, hurricanes or otherwise are not God’s punishment on the east coast for falling away from Christian doctrine. If I hear of any blogger out there trying to spread this hate filled message I’m going to scream. Hear me loud and clear, trying to justify hate and evil with the will of God is a big hot steaming pile of crap and I’m not going to stand back and let Christians be led down that destructive and divisive path. You know how I know this to be true? Get ready because I’m about to pull out every bible thumper’s trump card. John 3:16 AND 17. We all know it, say it with me. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Wait, there’s more and it’s really important. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. God made himself a part of this world to save it, not condemn it. He loved all the world, not just a select few who feel themselves worthy. All the world, the innocent babies, the beautiful heroes and the tormented souls. All that angry vengeful stuff went out the window when the cross entered the picture. There isn’t room for condemnation and revenge in compassion and unconditional love.
I can’t begin to imagine the sorrow and grief those families in Connecticut are experiencing. All I can do is hug my boys a little tighter, cherish their silly antics and open my heart to experience compassion for those that are suffering. Only when we can let go of hateful, angry rhetoric and the lie that God wants to punish us by allowing pain and destruction, can we begin to heal.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on December 16, 2012
Anticipation. That is what comes to mind when I think about Advent. The excitement leading up the birth of our savior, counting down the days, singing songs of prophesies foretold and helping make Christmas miracles come true. Unchecked this anticipation can turn into anxiety. Checking off lists; did I get everything done? There are how many days left? I don’t have enough time! How much does that gift cost and how am I going to pay for it!? Anxiety invites in stress. One more present, one more pie, one more donation, one more ornament, one more office party, one more one more one more. Before we know it the presents have been ripped open and we’re already anticipating the New Year’s Day sale at Dillards. Where did the month go?
Thinking about Mary and her anticipation I can’t help but wonder, did she cherish every single day or did she feel a need to hurry it up? 9 months is a long time to anticipate God’s greatest gift. Did she worry about all she had to do to prepare, allowing the stress of such a responsibility weigh her down? Or did she take time each day to stop and meditate on the miracle that was a part of her and soon to be a part of our world.
During this Advent season lets not let the joy of anticipation slip through our fingers. Take time each day to cherish the wonder of God coming to dwell with us. It’s okay to be excited about presents and decorations, volunteering and baking. Sharing our time and talents are part of what the wonder of Christmas is all about. But don’t forget what we are preparing for. This should be the season to slow down and savor the days rather than race to the finish line.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on December 10, 2012
For a town our size I’m always amazed at how many people get hit by a train. That may sound weird but it seems like I’m reading in the paper every other week about another person who was killed on the train track. Do they not hear it coming for peets sake? And why were they on the track to begin with? If you really need to use the train track to be your guide at least walk along beside it, not on it. Geez.
About a month or so ago I read yet another story of a man who was hit by an on coming train. I went on to read that the man was a regular at the local shelter. I’m ashamed to admit that my gut reaction was “oh, he was homeless.” It was as if knowing that he might have been homeless explained why he was hit by a train. It’s so easy to dismiss the homeless in our community and write them off as koo-koo or an addict as a way to brush the problem under the rug. I’m going out on a limb here to admit how I really feel about the homeless. I have conflicting feelings of apathy, sadness and helplessness that I struggle with. I see them wandering the streets and my heart is torn in half. Half of my heart aches for them and wonders how in the world they got to such a desperate place in life. That part of my heart wants to buy them a meal. The other part of my heart is hardened. I wonder if they would even be able to hold down a job or stay in an apartment if one was provided. I never give money out any more because I’m afraid they will turn around and use it to get drunk or high. That part of my heart asks the other half of my heart… so what if you buy them a meal? Is that really going to help in the long run? What can you possibly do to make a difference? Nothing. Leave them alone.
The next week I read more about the man hit by the train. He was my age and when he was young he competed in the Special Olympics. Knowing that he competed in the Special Olympics made him so much more human to me. At some point in his life this man had a support system, people who loved him and helped him enter and compete in the Special Olympics. Obviously they felt him worthy enough for such an endeavour and encouraged him to be the best he could be. What happened between being in the Special Olympics and being a regular client of a homeless shelter? I have no idea but it made me realize…who am I to judge why someone is on the street? Some may be mentally handicapped and unable to care for themselves, some may be regular folks who were one paycheck away from losing their apartment, some are parents who don’t have a family support system to fall back on when times get tough. It doesn’t really matter what brought them to a place of desperation, what matters is that they are still children of God and I still need to treat them that way.
This summer Addison stormed out of the room and threw himself on the floor. He was pouting and groaning about not being able to pass a level on Super Mario Galaxy. Basically, his world was coming to an end and he could not go on because he couldn’t get past a level on a Wii game. My 7 year old was throwing a fit over a Wii game. No sir, I’m not having that. I told him to take a break from Wii and that we were going to rethink what it means to have everything we could ever want. We live in a big, beautiful house. Our pantry is overflowing with snacks and we have toys coming out our ears. We have no idea what it means to go without. I know he’s only 7 (8 is only a few weeks away), but this was the perfect opportunity for him to start learning that the world does not revolve around him.
As children become self-aware their world starts with them and expands out from there. They become aware of their family then introduce friends and other loved ones into their little universe. All of those people who care for them and love them and play with them revolve around them like planets around the sun (in their little minds). Slowly over time they start to understand that their actions effect others and they learn lessons of right and wrong but they are still the center of all things important and expect to be treated accordingly. This behavior continues through the teenage years and it’s up to the loving adults in their life to teach them that they indeed, are not the center of the universe. Lessons in self-esteem and positive self-image are important but it’s equally important to show them that there is more in this world than their own selfish wants and desires. This, of course, is my own observation. I’m not a professional but it doesn’t take a PhD to see that kids are selfish and it’s our job as parents to teach them empathy, love and respect for others.
After the Wii outburst I made an executive decision. We were going to start volunteering at the local shelter once a month by helping serve lunch. Our first volunteer day is this weekend. I don’t think he is very excited about it, but that’s just too bad. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on September 24, 2012
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we wee you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Every four years about this time I start hearing this conversation, or some form of it. If Jesus were here would he be registered as a Democrat or a Republican? Maybe he would have Socialist leanings so he would choose not to label himself as either. Would he even participate in the democratic process?
I like to think that he would participate in the process and cast a vote, and I bet he would keep his vote a secret. I’ve heard a strong argument that Jesus would be a Democrat. Look at his record. He was all about equal rights, helping the disenfranchised, feeding the poor and healing those who had no health insurance and who would use the ER for non-emergencies because they didn’t have a regular doctor to go to or any way to pay for it. Well, maybe he wasn’t an ER doc but he was all about healing not only their ailing bodies but also their damaged souls for the low, low price of go and sin no more or don’t tell anyone about this.
On the flip side I’ve heard an argument that Jesus’ call to take care of the poor, widowed and sick was not a request for government social services but a call to action for the church. One could argue that the church needs to step up and take responsibility for those in our society who can’t help themselves. The church needs to support the organizations that support unwed mothers, feed and shelter the homeless. A strong argument can be made that the Church can do a whole lot more.
Technically, the “church” wasn’t even invented yet when Jesus was spreading his message. His call to action was for his followers and disciples. But I get the point and I agree; the Church can and should be doing more. However, just saying yeah, the Church should be doing more is not enough. That is putting the task and responsibility of care-taking off on somebody else. Placing the burden of social services on someone else or someone official allows us to blame them (whoever them is) when we see someone homeless or a teenage mother keeping the same diaper on her baby because she can’t afford to change it every time it get’s soiled.
Christians, churches and private citizens need to do more in answer to Jesus’ call. But why stop there? If Jesus’ call to action was for the people, are politicians immune from doing their share? Shouldn’t they have to shoulder the burden as well? Should they have to serve in their communities and privately support charitable organizations as well as create laws and services that protect the disenfranchised? It’s both/and. Not either/or.
As Christians, is it our responsibility to support the legislation that protects the least of these? We’re all in this together. Rich, poor, Republican, Democrat, Christian, Jew, Muslim and everyone in between.
Doing the right thing is a group effort.
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on September 12, 2012
you have given us this good land as our heritage.
Make us always remember your generosity and constantly do your will.
Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education,
and an honorable way of life.
Save us from violence, discord & confusion;
from pride and arrogance and from every evil course of action.
Make us who came from many nations
with many different languages a united people.
Defend our liberties and give those
whom we have entrusted with the authority of government the spirit of wisdom,
that there might be justice and peace in our land.
When times are prosperous, let our hearts be thankful;
and, in troubled times, do not let our trust in your fail.
We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978
Posted by Hugs, Kisses and Snot on July 4, 2012