Showing posts from May, 2017

Both Willing and Unwilling

Ezekiel 4:1-7
4 Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it; you shall bear their punishment for the number of the days that you lie there.
I think of Bodhisattvas when I read this. Not only does the prophet speak hard truths to unrepentant people, but in order to be qualified to do so, must suffer on behalf of those same unrepentant ones. This is not a transaction, but an act of great compassion. That’s what makes a prophet a prophet: to embody the entirety of a thing; to be at the same time the helpless besieged and the implacable besieger; to be both willing and unwilling; to be both bound and free; to unreservedly belong to the world and accept it contentedly as it is, and at the same time point a steadfast and accusing finger at the senselessness of evil; to be utterly at home in the realm of Light and Peace, and at the same time be a homeless and bewildered wanderer in a desolate wasteland of suffering.
Hebrews 6:1-12
4 For it is impossible to…


Psalm 80
12Why have you broken down its wall, *
so that all who pass by pluck off its grapes?
13The wild boar of the forest has ravaged it, *
and the beasts of the field have grazed upon it.
I had to include this because I feel so vulnerable living in the U.S. right now, with the walls of sanity and integrity in rubble, and the ravagers having their way with the unprotected fruits of American democracy. I will just leave it as a lament and a wailing……
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
2Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness,
The “long way the Lord has led you….” I don’t know why this phrase grabbed me, but it did. It seems important to me that the verb in that sentence is “led.” God went first into the wilderness, and the Israelites went into it because they were following God….not because they were banking on getting paid off on the other side with an easy and pleasant life in a hospitable land. They followed God because…..God.
Even if there is a promis…

Working our Way Through the World

Wisdom 9:1, 7-18
“14 For the reasoning of mortals is worthless,
and our designs are likely to fail;
15 for a perishable body weighs down the soul,
and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.
16 We can hardly guess at what is on earth,
and what is at hand we find with labor;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens?”
It was verse 16 that grabbed me, especially “what is at hand we find with labor.” I have been writing reflections on the Waystead Intentions lately, and one of them is about ‘labor’: “To labor gently, mindful of the amount of strength and energy to be had.” I really like the idea that labor comes first, and by virtue of our labor, the job at hand will appear. We will find out what needs to be done because we are already at work, not the other way around. We don’t see a job undone, and have to stir our stumps to get up and go do it. Instead we work our way through the world and all our various tasks sustain our labor. I thought of Jesus’s saying about the works he …