Friday, April 04, 2003

Listening to the news and the debates on various listserves --
I have been thinking about why I have my reaction to my government and our pursuit of this war in Iraq. Last night it became clear to me (in a spiritual autobiography using a timeline of world events for our EFM class) -- I was born in 1941 -- my playmates were bundled off to Concentration Camps for being Japanese-Americans. My first memory of TV was watching the McCarthy hearings and the House UnAmerican Activities Commission. Professors of a college in my town lost their jobs and were banned from teaching on the basis of rumor. When I was in college and into young adulthood - it was the VietNam war. More and more lies from that era have been revealed. My friends died thinking they were doing something good - and those who returned (who actually served on the battlefield) are very cynical about all war. In the course of this reflection - I realize that I do not have much in my history and experience of my country to give me confidence in the decisions that are being made and the rhetoric used to support it. This current war seems to be just one more lie - which history will reveal after all the death and destruction? I hope not - I hope we are acting out of the goodness of our hearts - that we truly desire to be a liberating force in the world. Time will tell.
You may say I am exercising a selective memory but these are my marker events. I love the principles of this country - just finished reading (actually a book on tape as I drive to work, 160 miles through the Rockies, each week) John Adams -- how timely to listen to the letters and reflections on the founders of our country. How precarious our freedoms (we were thanking the French that time around). Every generation has had challenges to the Constitution and our form of government. Once again our freedoms are being eroded - not by some external enemy - but by our very own lawmakers. Freedom of speech, freedom of our personal lives and choices, freedom of religion taken away in the name of protecting us. When will we begin to witness to the real power of the US - the beacon of freedom, a place of welcome to the stranger, rich beyond believing. When will we move as a people of abundance and generosity and stop acting like spoiled children who having opened so many Christmas presents turns to our parent and says "is that all?"
Criticizing governmental decisions is not a sign of hatred of the United States. It is a sign of a free and open society. It is because we love our country and what it stands for that citizens protest. When we see and hear our leaders making choices that do not follow the professed values of the United States - we are moved to speak out. I pray that our leader's choices are correct and that all our daughters and sons soon return to us. Working for peace is not anti-government - who would work for war? Soldiers that I know work for peace. Leaving is not an option - loving is.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they wanted to take him into the boat, John 6:16-21a
We would rather have holiness contained in the boat with us than to see it loose and walking the waves of the sea.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Lady Vols go to the Final Four!!
Cubs win!!! 15-2
When I was in Homiletics (preaching) class in seminary - we were assigned the Bible passage where Jesus feeds the 5000 (John 6). One man went to the bakery and bought a loaf of bread - he cut it into as many tiny pieces as possible and then figured how many loaves it would take for everyone to get even a bite. Now the text says they were satisfied. So the man's conclusion was - it could not have happened and therefore Jesus did not do it. We loved it, took him out for lunch, and laughed all afternoon. We ate and were filled with joy.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Spring has definitely returned - that most theological of sports - baseball has begun it's new season -- Cubs rock - definitely our year.