Tag Archives: pain

it’s now about us

Actually, nothing has changed, has it? The truth is it has always been about us. What are we willing to ignore? How much are we willing to put up with? How low are we willing to go?

Peter Story, a Methodist Bishop from South Africa once remarked that during the apartheid years, he was always deeply ashamed of his nation for the immorality of such an unjust system. Every day of this presidency and this administration I am identifying  more deeply with the pain he felt and what he was saying.

Where is our basic decency? When will we say enough is enough, and begin to reclaim the standard human decency that has always created hope around the world?

a Veterans Day Prayer

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation
and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harm’s way.
Shield them from danger and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.
Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us, the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us! Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!

Amen.

Concord Pastor

an ugly insight from history

I am currently dealing with a number of good people who are angry. Much of that anger is being expressed at me, but I understand why they are angry and what is motivating their anger. The source of their anger and the pain that is causing it is far deeper than me or my words and actions.

Dealing with ugly realities is never easy, and it is especially difficult in a society where we have always desired not dealing with anything ugly, messy or painful. An example is this quote by Voltaire. It is an ugly truth that will immediately make many reading it upset and angry. That, however,m doesn’t change the truthfulness of the quote.

It’s o.k. to get angry at ugly truth and painful facts. But, if we analyze the reason for our anger we have the opportunity to grow from it.

We can then work to either accept or change the ugly truth which makes us angry. Or, as in the case with some of those who are now directing their anger toward me, we can ignore the truth until it becomes an infection of anger and bitterness causing us to lash out in pain.

The only problem with the latter approach is that the source of the infection, that ugly truth still needs to be dealt with, doesn’t it?

 

truly offensive

A brief, yet powerful sermon we all need to heed. Having just returned from a trip that included both India and Nicaragua, this resonates with me more than ever. We all need to stop being so sensitive to personal affronts and far more sensitive to the real pain, greed, and injustice that fills the world.

proclaim the Gospel

"Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile." – Bl. Teresa of Calcutta:

One of my favorite quotes is that all Christians are called to proclaim the Gospel, and if all else fails we can use speech. That’s exactly what Mother Teresa is telling us.

We can all be living expressions of God’s love and kindness. Allowing the love of God to flow through us is a true gift to a world that’s hurting and hungry for genuine love.

A prayer for a world divided

 

A Prayer of Hope

Let us pray:

We pray today for God’s world. We pray that it

might discover its human face. We pray for a

world divided.

Divided unequally between the prosperous and

the desperate.

Between those born into privilege and power and

those born into poverty and pain.

Divided unequally between the wealthy and the

The power-filled and the poor.

The greedy and the poor.

The corrupt and the poor.

The poor who always get more than their fairshare

of poverty.

God of life, into your world you come. Into this

divided human community you arrive.

You sit amongst the poor but the wealthy do not

see you.

You walk with the lonely and the abandoned but

those with power cannot hear your footsteps.

You stand among the hungry crowds waiting for

food but the greedy will not share their food with

You live among the powerless, the frightened

and the weak but the corrupt fail to notice you

and continue to exploit you.

God of hope, deliver us all from selfrighteousness

so that whilst we may call the

world towards a different way, we might also, in

your name, become the

answer to the prayers of the silent, suffering,

struggling ones.

God of justice, not just us, grant us the courage

to live as well as proclaim your gospel.

God of life, grant us the energy to serve others in

your name.

God of love, enable and allow us, with

all our weaknesses and fears, to

continue this walk of faith, for faith

and in faith.

a prayer by the Rev David Pargeter, Executive Director, Commission for Mission, Uniting Church in Australia)