6th Sunday after Epiphany C
By Laurel Dykstra
Psalm 1 and the verses from Jeremiah 17 are two of many passages where something valued or successful is compared to a tree by water.
For the preacher engaging with ecological themes, reading these two passages together suggests several overlapping subjects for exploration to “test the mind and search the heart.” Continue reading
In January, over twenty women gathered for a Word and World weekend of rest and writing using winter as their guide and teacher. This is the first reflection offered which also gives some writing prompts. May it be company in these longer winter days.
I will tell you something about stories,
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
all we have to fight off
illness and death.
You don’t have anything
if you don’t have the stories.
Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories
let the stories be confused or forgotten.
They would like that
They would be happy
Because we would be defenseless then.
He rubbed his belly.
I keep them here
Here, put your hand on it
See, it is moving.
There is life here
for the people.
And in the belly of this story
the rituals and the ceremony
are still growing.
Three, young, powerful, brash women of color have come down upon the Capitol and left the old while folks there sputtering in their wake. The most well-known—so much so that she already can be recognized by her initials, AOC—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY)—has blown the doors off Congress by daring to offer her “Green New Deal” vision. The other two are both Muslim women, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. Tlaib and Omar have strongly promoted the international “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction” campaign to pressure the Israeli government to withdraw from West Bank settlements. Continue reading
By Ken Sehested (right with grandchildren), whose fluency tends toward poetic expression, in response to our 2019 question, “What is your definition of radical discipleship?”
“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone
who demands from you an accounting for the hope
that is in you: yet do it in gentleness and reverence.”
—1 Peter 3:15-16
To your feet, you pilgrims of faith’s long journey! Stand and pledge your allegiance to that nation-supplanting Realm to come.
For what do we hope?
We hope for the Beloved’s Promise to overtake the world’s broken-hearted threat. Continue reading
…a lot of people who are unfamiliar with organizing, through no fault of their own, have little idea that it’s often the failed attempts that lead to the bigger successes. Big, successful marches that are connected to social movements — especially in the 1960s — don’t come from heaven. They have to be built and organized. And sometimes that lesson today can be distorted, because you can have lots of money from foundations that swoop in and make all of these resources available, but you still have the same problem: if it’s not connected to ongoing organization or organizing, then it’s a flash in a pan that can bring attention to a particular issue but doesn’t create the means to actually do anything about it.
An excerpt from Robin D.G. Kelley’s 2016 “Yes, I Said ‘National Liberation.'” Re-posted from Verso.
Whatever the reasons, our solidarity ought to be based on building a new world together. I am not suggesting that we abandon the struggle to hold Israel accountable for its continued crimes against humanity and violations of international law, or that we stop mourning and honoring the dead, or that we cease any of the immediate actions designed to sustain life and bring a modicum of peace. But peace is impossible without justice. The brilliant Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif put it best: “The world treated Gaza as a humanitarian case, as if what the Palestinians needed was aid. What Gaza needs is freedom.” And what is freedom for Palestine? “Free Palestine” means, at a minimum, completely ending the occupation; dismantling all vestiges of apartheid and eradicating racism; holding Israel accountable for war crimes; suspending the use of administrative detention, jailing of minors, and political repression; freeing all political prisoners; recognizing the fundamental rights of all Palestinian and Bedouin citizens of Israel for full equality and nationality; ensuring all Palestinians a right to return and to receive just compensation for property and lives stolen, destroyed, and damaged in one of the greatest colonial crimes of the twentieth century.