A post from a couple of months ago from activist and Vanderbilt Divinity student Margaret Ernst:
For those taking action against Trump in Nashville today:
1) I love you.
2) This is a ritual I made up before participating in a direct action a few weeks ago, and I want to offer it to you.
Ritual for before direct action:
Light three candles.
With the first candle, name and honor the loved ones and ancestors who give you strength, who challenge you, hold you, and have your back.
With the second candle, meditate on how your soul and body’s freedom is wrapped up this action and imagine what it would be like to win.
With the third candle, notice your fears and where you feel vulnerable. Love and honor these places too. Acknowledge the risks you are willing to take, and let these settle into your being.
Say a prayer or incantation calling for protection of yourself and others and for the fulfillment of your intentions in taking action.
Close with a song that brings you courage.
By Denise Levertov
In the hot street at noon I saw him
a small man
gray but vivid, standing forth
beyond the crowd’s buzzing
holding in desperate grip his shaking
and thought him my brother. Continue reading
Leo Guardado, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary—chapel talk
February 28, 2017
Ezekiel 37:1-6: The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath[a] to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath[b] in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
At the U.S.-Mexico border there is a group of faithful people called Samaritans—some religious and some not—who daily journey into the Sonoran desert which has become a valley of dry bones. There you find bones of children, of women, of elderly men. About ten years ago, a group of students and I came across bones that were later identified as belonging to a teenager. Sometimes you only find a few bones, for coyotes—the animal kind—and other wild beasts have already been at the scene of death. Continue reading
Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19-31
By Ron Berezan
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:19-22
Living in fear can be hazardous to your health. Refugees, women subject to domestic violence, the imprisoned, the poor, the conquered and the otherwise oppressed and marginalized live with this daily. Not knowing who might burst through that locked door at any time and what violence they may inflict. Not knowing what tomorrow holds. Never sure who you can trust. Shallow breath, tension, always on edge. Exhaustion. Fear and locked doors. Continue reading
A Review By Tommy Airey
I’m someone who strictly reads books with a pen in hand. I do, after all, have standards. Francis Weller, though, is someone who writes books that force me to rearrange my standards for what gets underlined. His recent release The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief (2015) follows that trend. One-fourth of my copy is penned up. If I applied normal standards, though, it would easily be two-thirds. Paragraphs swim through waves of sentences pounding the reader with profundity. For the most part, I’m a typically unexpressive, work-it-out-in-my-head white heterosexual male. Weller, though, sparks something deeper in me. I found myself nodding, slapping inanimate objects, muttering out loud “Yep, holy shit.” An example from early in the book:
What I have come to see is that much of the grief we carry is not personal; it doesn’t arise from our histories or experiences. Rather, it circulates around us, coming to us from a wider expanse, arriving on unseen currents that touch our souls.
Weller is drawing on thirty years of experience in the therapy room, concisely summarizing Jung and Freud, relaying many stories that arise from clients. But he also peppers us with quotes from poets like Rilke and Rumi, Mary Oliver and David Whyte. The icing on the cake is the way he draws on indigenous wisdom and soul-tenders like Pema Chodron and John O’Donohue. Continue reading
By Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Easter Vigil, April 16, 2017
– St. Peter’s Episcopal and Detroit Catholic Worker
Dan Berrigan, now of blessed memory, who crossed over to the ancestors and saints a year ago this month, has since been repeatedly quoted as saying, “If you want to follow Jesus, you better look good on wood.” Theology in a quip. He also said, though less famously, “It all started with the Resurrection…If only we would have stayed put!”
I love the particulars, the details of Matthew’s story of how Jesus refused to stay put – and more often than not, God is in the details. Let me mention a few unique to Matthew’s Gospel. Continue reading
By Ken Sehested, the editor and author of prayerandpolitiks.org, an online journal at the intersection of spiritual formation and prophetic action
Easter resurrection is never as assured
as the arrival of Easter bunnies.
Clothiers and chocolate-makers alike yearn
for the season no less than every cleric.
And yet, in my experience, the Spirit
rarely blows according to the calendar,
much less on demand. Continue reading