Tag Archives: democracy

Ordinary Time
January 31, 2018

Scripture Reading: Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
   for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
   he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted,
   and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
   he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
   his understanding is beyond measure.
 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
   he casts the wicked to the ground. –Psalm 147:1-6

I saw a news story recently about a local group providing services to persons in Haiti still recovering from the horrible earthquake that killed over 100,000 people eight years ago. I was particularly struck by the interview with one mother living in a lean-to shack with no running water or electricity. They interviewed her because she spoke English. She spoke English because she was deported from the USA having been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her two daughters behind as they were American citizens and she knew the future she was returning to was grim and dangerous. Ironic isn’t it that faith groups are ministering to people in their desperate situations because of the actions of our own country.

I praise God for the work of the hands of God’s servants healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds. While such work is needed, our work at home doing justice has become even more imperative. The USA government recently ruled that the refugees we took in after that same earthquake must return to Haiti over the next year or so even though that country does not have the resources to support the population there now. The report gave no reason for the deportation order. It seemed an arbitrary decision based on someone thinking the refugees were here long enough.

I also saw a headline recently that asked the question whether democracy remained a viable form of governance. I did not have time to read the article, but the answer that came to my mind is that democracy can be a great form of governance if we all work at making it so. What do you think?

Prayer: Lord, you created each of us with skills and talents designed to bring about your Kingdom guide us in doing just that. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.

For Waiting Souls

WaitingChristmas
December 31, 2014

Scripture Reading: Psalm 62:5-12

For God alone my soul waits in silence,
   for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
   my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
   my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.  

Trust in him at all times, O people;
   pour out your heart before him;
   God is a refuge for us. — Psalm 62:5-8

 It has been an eventful years as are most anymore it seems.

  • USA troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan as you read this. Some of those same troops began providing air support against ISIS earlier in the year. They are still there.
  • Mid-term elections were held but the majority did not vote. Perhaps this is verification of the findings in a recently published Princeton study* that the USA is no longer a democracy but has become an oligarchy. Have we sold our precious democracy to the highest bidder?
  • The stock market reached its highest level ever while workers saw little if any change in their incomes. Median household income barely budged [in 2013], edging up to $51,939 from $51,759 in 2012, the Census Bureau noted separately. Median income is still far from the $56,436 in 2007 and the all-time high of $56,895 in 1999.**
  • Racial tensions boiling in the background for years spilled over into the streets. I have to wonder if that is not as much about too low incomes and the rule of law, on which our country was founded, now seemingly only applying to the disenfranchised. Is that also the reason that most of us quit voting?

New Year’s Eve is a good time to lay all these and other concerns before God and to wait silently for the renewal of hope we must have from God to fortify us as we turn around from any of our own actions or failure to act that have led to such a dismal state of affairs.

Prayer:
God, who touchest earth with beauty,
make my heart anew;
with thy Spirit recreate me,
pure and strong and true.*** Amen.

* http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/princeton-experts-say-us-no-longer-democracy

** http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/poverty-household-income_n_5828974.html

***First verse of hymn God Who touchest Earth with Beauty, words by Mary Susanne Edgar, Lryics found at: http://lyrics.astraweb.com/display/110/hymns..unknown..god_who_touchest_earth_with_beauty.html

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.