Blog

Confession

We have listened to the wrong gods, O Holy Life,
to the ones that say “Pull yourself up
by your own bootstraps” and the ones
that say “Your help is in the rat race.”

Hear your people protest: “How long?”

Hear your people confess: “No more!”

We have said our prayers to the wrong gods, O Holy Life,
to the ones that prophesy “Sinners deserve
condemnation” and the ones that guilt-trip
“No sacrifice is good enough to know love.”

Hear your people protest: “How long?”

Hear your people confess: “No more!”

We have been disciples of the wrong gods, O Holy Life,
of the ones that subjugate saying “You need
to be controlled” and the ones that betray
saying “Build the fire for your own sacrifice.”

Hear your people protest: “How long?”

Hear your people confess: “No more!”

No more, O Life, no more
and never again shall we
serve gods that demand
death before they grant
life, gods that baptize us
in our own blood saying
“This is holy,” gods that
value heaven’s gold over
one breath and gods that
value earth’s gold more
than heaven’s solidarity.

Hear your people protest: “How long?”

Hear your people confess: “No more!”

And let it be so.

Amen.

on the Revised Common Lectionary texts,
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

For the Sake of Expediency

The officials said to the king, “Jeremiah ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the people who are left in this city.” King Zedekiah said, “Here he is – I won’t stop you.” So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern.
– Jeremiah 38:4-6 (adapted)

King Zedekiah is a politician of convenience, a man who avoids conflict when possible and – when it’s not possible – casts his net wide in hopes of a bailout from any possible source.

Trying to get out from under the thumb of the Babylonians? Zedekiah’s solution is to call the Egyptians and Jeremiah and every prophet he knows for protection.

Enjoying a brief reprieve from war? Zedekiah appeases his politicians who want Jeremiah silenced and locked up so they can maintain the illusion of peace in the city.

Frightened again by Babylonian advances? Zedekiah secretly approves Jeremiah’s release in hopes that God will do the same for Jerusalem.

“By any means necessary” is Zedekiah’s slogan, even if it means throwing someone under the bus, out on the street, or into the cistern’s mud. Temporary peace, by any means necessary. Silencing critics, by any means necessary. Saving face, by any means necessary. And when all else fails: lie that you never said such a thing, send the women and children out to seek peace, or run away and hide.

Stay at the top by any means necessary. It’s a strategy of power that has been taught through the generations: pledge allegiance to many gods (wealth, nation, race, religion, war) to guard what you believe to be yours.

Of Zedekiah’s foolish game, Jeremiah prophesies, “The women and children will say of you: ‘Your allegiances have betrayed you, and your feet are stuck in the mud.’”

How stuck are we by our own allegiances?

We have taken the blessed dust of which you made us, and the holy rain of which you made the earth, and we have made a muddy mess. Forgive us, not for the sake of expediency, but for the sake of your name.

written for the Daily Devotional

Sign Up for Rachel’s Blog

Emmaus

This day, too, is a resurrection, therefore we praise the Most Holy Miracle. This breath, and this one, is a promise fulfilled. Praise and thanks to Life Eternal. These tears are a baptism that make holy our dusty humanity; And this crusty loaf of bread, broken and...

read more

In the Spirit of Thomas

We do not see! We do not understand! We do not know which signs are true! Peace be with you. We cannot believe! We cannot find our grounding! We cannot discern the path forward! Peace be with you. Information is lacking! Too many liars claim expertise! Conspiracy...

read more

Sufficient

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. - Psalm 16:5-6 (NRSV) My preferred cup is venti-sized, with a green mermaid on the side. I know what people say about her, of...

read more

Glory!

Glory! Life begun! Sing hallelujah! The grave has given birth, the tomb has revealed life, the tears have watered joy. Glory! Life eternal! Sing hallelujah! Heaven is unwavering, wonder is imperishable, love is not weary. Glory! Life temporal! Sing hallelujah! Every...

read more

Remember

You promised, God. You promised. Yet we look backward, we look forward, we look side to side, and surrounding us are the floodwaters of violence and the rains of despair. You promised to remember, but we are drowning. You promised to remember, but we are dying --...

read more

Toast

Cheers to the causes that bring us together as unlikely allies -- and blessings on the bread that keeps us seated around the same table. Cheers to the wounds that humble us all to ashes -- and blessings on the deep cup that revives us to show up for another day....

read more

Palm Sunday Psalm

Open to God a heart of praise and a gate of generosity. O give thanks to the One who is good, whose steadfast love endures forever. Come to God's side with a coat and a colt and a shout. O give thanks to the One who is good, whose steadfast love endures forever. Bless...

read more

Pit of Despair

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away. - Psalm 31:9-10 (NRSV) I do not wish...

read more

A Jar of Oil

The widow of one of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and now creditors come to take my two children as slaves.” Elisha said to her, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Nothing except a jar of oil.” - 2 Kings 4:1-2...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest