Are We There Yet?

Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” – 2 Samuel 7:18 (NRSV)

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is more than six years old. The #MeToo movement is more than thirteen years old. Civil rights and liberation movements around the world are generations old—as old as our love of power and control.

When will justice prevail?

In my pregnancies (many years ago) that resulted in the births of my two children, the final trimesters always seemed the slowest. I thought I couldn’t possibly get any bigger, that each day would surely be “the day,” that the new life inside me was long overdue.

When would the waiting end?

Last year, a new shopping development in my neighborhood dragged weeks, and then months, behind schedule. Piles of dirt and skeletons of I-beams languished while awaiting the vision of a bustling community.

Must delays in construction be inevitable?

King David believed that the work of building God’s house was overdue and that he was the one to undertake such a noble project. God’s reply? “Why do you assume that I’m discontent where I am? Who are you to say that my presence in the world is not yet enough?”

God was already where God intended to be. God’s promised presence was already fulfilled. What David believed needed to be started, pursued, labored over, and completed for God’s sake was already ongoing.

God was already there, bringing David along the way.

We still have so far to go, O God. The work of justice seems eternal, the wait for new life seems long, the aspirations we undertake in your name seem to be forever incomplete. We might never reach the end of it all—but God, please promise that our progress isn’t a measure of your arrival.

written for the Daily Devotional

Love

How is it that my Lord can love me
from the depths of hell to the heights of heaven?

How has it come to pass that I am the beloved
of the Sovereign of angels, the Commander of the dawn?

 Yet there is the sun — a sign in the east —
greeting me across the chasm of the universe.

And there is the child — a sign of new life —
delighting in honey no matter the world’s bitterness.

How has my disgrace been hidden from ridicule
so that my name brings joy to the ancestors?

I cannot explain or comprehend such grace,
but only testify that I am saved by Love.

And here is the sign:
God is with me.

Hallelujah!

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Joy

Lead us to the water, O Spirit,
calm in a pool or
flowing in a river or
pounding down a waterfall.

Lead us to the water where we can bathe,
splash, leap and laugh,
rinse and relax, soak for hours,
until violence is washed clean from our skin
and defensiveness is eased from our tense muscles.

Lead us to the water, O Spirit,
to hear prophets preach
and sinners repent,
to drink deeply of blessings.

Lead us to the water that flows beside a harvest
where the fruit is sweet, the grass lush,
the community lively and every person free,
where the way is wide and smooth
so that all people can travel as they sing.

Lead us to the water, O Spirit,
and we will be wise and
unrestrained in joy
until your reign is glorified.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Daydreamers

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. – Psalm 126:1-2 (NRSV)

I woke up from the nightmare, shaking. As someone who rarely remembers their dreams, I was overwhelmed by the vivid details … and the calculated violence … of this particular dream. The terror of it squeezed my heart so tightly that my breath was short and panicked for the next twenty-four hours.

Too often, our dreams are nightmares – fearful conglomerates of life events and mental processing, haunted memories of spiritual scars and fresh heartaches. Then when we wake, more nightmares flood our news feed: drone bombings and racialized violence, ruthless poverty and state-sanctioned discrimination. With nightmares permeating both day and night, it is easy for the thoughts of our minds and the words on our tongues to sour.

In search of escape, we might opt out of the buffet of nightmares and choose to bury our heads in dreams of willful ignorance, of naiveté, of bias, of vanity, of consumption. Anything to buffer our spirits from pain and fear.

But no. The beckoning – the reckoning – of Advent is to be filled up with the dream of God’s goodness in such a way that our mouths overflow with laughter, our tongues pour out songs of joy, our tears rain down delight.

Buffered spirits cannot dream such dreams.

Isolated spirits cannot dream such dreams.

So when your heart pounds with fear, when your nightmares interrupt the day, when trouble catches your breath, when you feel your spirit building that wall, be like those who dream: be together. Share laughter, songs, tears, and stories of God’s goodness.

Daydreamers dream in community.

God have mercy. Our nightmares haunt us, and we neglect to dream. We neglect to dream together. Fill us up with the knowledge of your goodness. Then our mouths will laugh and our tongues will sing.

written for the Daily Devotional

Peace

In the fear of the LORD,
we pray for a root —
merely a root, buried deep —
that we might hope
for the blooming of peace.

In the wonder of the LORD,
we pray for a child —
for every child among us —
to tame the lions and
asps within us to be at peace.

In the wisdom of the LORD,
we pray for a river —
a river flowing from mountains —
that might erode our egos
and drown our violence for peace.

In the reverence of the LORD,
we pray for the moon —
in all of its numbered days —
that we might watch
for the peace that outlasts its light.

May it be so,
until it is so.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals