Soul Fiber: Can’t Find One, Be One

combined photo…what God is looking for in men and women. 

   It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,be compassionate and loyal in your love,And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. Micah 6:8 The Message

After arriving and parking at a restaurant, I found myself awakening from a two-hour nap. I had preached earlier and, as is often the case, I was exhausted from the preparation and presentation of the message.

The car doors were locked and a window was cracked for ventilation. I have trained myself to put the car in gear and pull away at the slightest danger. This is the thing: not a living soul or barking dog checked to see if I was sick, dead, or dying. This was more frightening than being attacked by would be break-ins. After all, the restaurant and parking lot is in a heavily traveled, popular mall. This is alarming, not because of who I am it is troubling because it happens too often with people standing by and watching police beat the crap out of unarmed resistors or folks sitting and hearing domestic violence victims screaming for help and not calling 911 (which can be done without giving your name).

Can't find one, be oneReverend Michael Piazza writes a weekly Liberating Word for the Center for Progressive Renewal in Atlanta. He shares: “last week the Georgia Legislature voted to put a statue of the Ten Commandments on the capitol grounds and to deny health care to the state’s poorest citizens by refusing to expand Medicaid…a complete dismissal of Jesus’ most core instruction to care for ‘the least.’ In one of the most churched states in the nation, there was utter silence rather than advocating for the poor…Some days I think we’d be better off if a lot more churches closed because they don’t seem to be doing anyone much good … and neither are the people who attend them.”

As true as Rev. Piazza words may be and, as true as my experience was, I still believe that there are good, godly, thoughtful, and concerned people in this world.

The picture makes the point – if you can’t find one, be one.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: Can you hear God now?

combined photo

1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.

3-4 Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. Psalm 19:1-4a
The Message (MSG)

For the first time since 2004, we will hear with our third ear four Blood Moons, each on a specific Jewish calendar day: Passover (041514), Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles (100814), Passover (040415), and Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles (092815). Passover, you may recall, is a feast in commemoration of last plague wherein God promises: 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. Exodus 12: 7-13.

Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. This seven-day holiday is reminiscent of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Hebrews lived in the desert post exodus from Egypt.

Four consecutive blood moons (known as a tetrad) have occurred in 1909-10, 1927-28, 1949-50, 1967-68, 1985-86, and 2003-04. Imagine, however, what humanities experience was before science helped us to understand Joel’s prophecy: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth… and the moon into blood before the coming of the …awesome day of the Lord.”

Before you go out and purchase supplies for your underground bunker or meeting with doomsday prophets in the middle of a desert (as some did during Y2K and the “Mayan” Apocalypse on 12212012 in response to the “End of the World” assertions), let’s take a look at an understanding of Blood Moons.

A Blood Moon is an exceptional celestial event that occurs when the earth spins between the sun and the moon. This is the thing, though, previous blood moon cycles occurred at momentous events in Jewish history: “In 1493, as Jews were expelled from Spain; in 1949, as the state of Israel was founded; and in 1967 during the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors… the lunar eclipses foreshadow “a world-shaking event,” originating in the Middle East between April 2014 and October 2015.” John Hagee, “Red Moon Prophecies.” The Blood Moons are not so much a sign of the end as we know it as an opportunity to listen with your third ear to the silence referenced in Psalm 19:4. Can you hear God now?

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.

Soul Fiber: Does Marching for Justice Work?

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12-15 The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!

Yes! The King of Israel! John 12:13 The Message (MSG)

Over the weekend, about fifty clergy and laypersons gathered in one of Michigan’s wealthiest and homogenous communities to march for justice. We carried signs that read “No Justice No Peace, ”Pay Retirees not Banks, ”City Managers: My City Today Your City Tomorrow,” “Justice is what love looks like in action,” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…” Seeing a number of children in the march I felt rather confident that we would not be carted off to jail. We stopped in front of a Chase Bank and, following the storyline read by our Conference Minister we yelled-back the cadence “CHASE BANK SHAME ON YOU,” Then, I started looking for the patty wagon. It occurred to me at that second that it did not matter whether or not we would be arrested. We were marching for justice, for rights being restored.

This could have been the message in Holy Writ when the hopeful shouted “Yes, the King of Israel!” Justice at last, freedom at last, liberty at last, victory at last, release from economic disparities at last, housing for the homeless at last, healing for the nation at last, liberation theology at last…. Only for hope unborn to almost die when a different crowd – the money changers, some Pharisees, some Sadducees, some religious leaders in high places, some council members – made a deal: to release somebodies else’s father, son, brother, or significant other in exchange for The Significant Other. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords had become perceived as the more sinister trouble maker.

     For every person who has made the ultimate sacrifice – from the unsung service member on foreign and domestic battle fields to the most prominent community leader, justice and human rights have been advanced. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of his appreciation for longevity the night before he was assassinated. You think Jesus wanted to die at 33? Although the march presumably gave the marchers a glimmer of hope for justice ended unjustly Truth crushed to earth rose again.

The next step in our protest is to ask our colleagues and congregants to protest by transferring their business from Chase Bank to a community credit union. This combined effort all but guarantees marching for justice works.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action, their families and, especially their children.