Final Notations

By Adrienne Rich rich.jpg

it will not be simple, it will not be long
it will take little time, it will take all your thought
it will take all your heart, it will take all your breath
it will be short, it will not be simple
it will touch through your ribs,
it will take all your heart
it will not be long, it will occupy your thought
as a city is occupied, as a bed is occupied
it will take all your flesh, it will not be simple

You are coming into us who cannot withstand you
you are coming into us who never wanted to withstand you
you are taking parts of us into places never planned
you are going far away with pieces of our lives

it will be short, it will take all your breath
it will not be simple, it will become your will

A Letter to Judge Wynn: Meditations on Breaking the Law

rose-berger

U.S. Capitol Rotunda on Dec. 7, 1995. Kneeling first row (left to right): Jim Wallis, Henri Nouwen, Eugene F. Rivers III, Graylan Hagler, Rose Marie Berger.

By Rose Marie Berger

If we could split ourselves
like a crack in the cement
(children’s names written when wet
a heart a flower a handprint)
like that mystical bread
(calloused hands holding up hunger
and night sweats and the one we once loved)

then we would say in our first voice: Law
and Order out of Chaos
we would listen and obey
teach our children hands up, look both ways
(pack them bubble-wrap safe
for shipping from this world to the next) Continue reading

The Rich Man and Lazarus: Warning Tale and Interpretive Key to Luke

fyodorBy Ched Myers, on Luke 16:19-31 (19th Sunday after Pentecost)

Note: This post is part of a series of weekly comments on the Lukan gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary during Year C, 2016. As was the case last week, this is a longer post, because of the importance of Luke 16 to those of us suffering from “Affluenza.” For a recording of a recent webinar Ched did on this gospel text, go here. [Right: Fyodor Bronnikov, “Lazarus at the rich man’s gate,” 1886.]

This Sunday’s gospel completes our journey through Luke 16. How rare it is that the lectionary allows a sustained look at Luke’s narrative argument! Last week’s text was Jesus’ subversive tale of the “defect-ive” discipleship of the beleaguered middle manager of a “filthy rotten system” (16:1-13). I read it as a poignant fable for those who would try to monkey-wrench the dominant economic system to provide a modicum of Jubilee justice for themselves and others.  The “paired” story of Lazarus and the Rich Man represents, in turn, a warning tale about the dark consequences of failing to deconstruct the systems of vast social and economic disparity that hold our world hostage. Continue reading

Love Must Win Out

weddingbelleisleIf anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
I John 4:20-21 (The Message Version)

A wedding homily preached by Tommy Airey for Eliisa & Peter Croce-Bojanic (right, September 18, 2016, on Belle Isle, Detroit, MI).
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God and people: you’ve got to love both. Sounds so simple. But the author of these sacred words from First John knew what an extreme challenge that this real, gritty, self-donating love presented. In fact, in the Gospel of John and all three letters that bear John’s name, there is only one ethical command provided for readers: to love. And because love is such a contested concept, because there are so many ideas floating around about what local and organic ingredients actually constitute love’s recipe, John holds up the cross of Jesus as the ultimate symbol: Continue reading

Eucharistic Prayer

euchWritten by Salal and Cedar

May God be with you
And also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up
Let us give thanks to God our Creator
It is right to give our thanks and praise

It is right in all times and in all places to thank and praise you Creator of all. We praise you here where the Fraser River meets the Salish Sea, where city and farm, wilderness and industry are side by side. We praise you at a time when the body of earth is broken again and again. Continue reading

Something Much Greater At Stake

michelle-alexanderAn announcement from Michelle Alexander on social media (September 16, 2016):

I am taking a long break from social media, but tonight I want to thank the Heinz Foundation which offered me today a large monetary award (along with several amazing individuals). See https://medium.com/…/announcing-the-21st-heinz-awards-honor….