Remember the dusty Holiness of humanity that has no need to accumulate treasures.
Remember the simplicity of Peace that welcomes grace and returns the same tenfold.
Remember the certainty of the Wilderness and patiently walk with someone there.
Remember the possibilities on the very edge of Mystery that allude to a new day.
Remember the relentlessness of Joy that wonders at love and marvels at life.
on Psalm 22:27a and Mark 8:35
“Peace! Peace” I pray repeatedly,
“Peace!” but there is no peace
that is not Yours;
there is no joy I can claim
that’s not Your joy;
there is not a victory to be had
that isn’t Your triumph;
there is no grace I can find
absent Your grace.
Dear Jesus, the wolf has no interest in resting quietly alongside the lamb — only raping her. The leopard is restless to devour the kid for the sake of a profit. Who will reprimand the lion’s violent ways, who will declaw its instincts and teach it to follow the calf peaceably? When will Leviathan no longer threaten every creature within its shared habitat? When will the snake no longer spill blood to pollute the dwelling of the mouse? Will the piranha never stop consuming others’ livelihoods and territories? Will no one stop the braying ass from broadcasting its hatred? And the child — God have mercy, the child! — is continuously hunted by snipers as if the child were an army. Send your Spirit swiftly, merciful Jesus, to decide for the meek and curtail the merciless, to embolden equity and stifle abuse, to speak life to peace and death to evil.
Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
rest and dream of what may be.
When you wake a song shall fly
of God’s good work to set us free:
From fear and fray
to joy’s display,
ne’er overwhelmed by evil’s forces.
From mine to yours
undeterred along heaven’s courses.
Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
claim God’s name with jubilee.
Take your ache to Holy Salve
and love in Heavn’s fierce company.
If I am zealous in faith
but do know not peace,
I am a dangerous firebrand.
If I kneel before the LORD
but cannot stand beside my neighbor,
I am a self-righteous Judas.
If I preach “Christ is near”
but shame those who cry to Jesus,
I am a false and jealous prophet.
If I shout out God’s praises
but refuse to resist injustice,
I am a faithless narcissist.
If I build glorious altars
but do not tear down dividing walls,
I am a godforsaken disciple.
Faith is not a solo experience or a self-serving endeavor. Faith cannot love God and hate a stranger. Faith is not simple or perfect or grandiose. Faith holds mystery, knows pain, and practices curiosity. Faith worships and welcomes, waits and works. Faith dwells in love, walks in peace, and joins in hope.
Reflecting on the lectionary texts for
the 10th Sunday after Pentecost (A),
patterned after 1 Corinthians 13