Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Ash Wednesday thought

A certified public accountant did something that maybe all of us should do. He decided to open a journal with God. He wanted to write down everything that God gave him and everything that he gave to God. He started keeping a debit and credit book with God.

If someone did him a favor, he put it down as God’s gift to him. He credited God with the sun, his food, his health, his friends and relatives and a thousand other benefits he received.

On the other hand, he put down what he did for God. Finally he gave up, saying, “It is impossible for me to balance the books. I find that God is indeed my creditor and what I have done for him is next to nothing.”

Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ, who did balance our books so that we can know and love the almighty God, creator of us all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers following the plane crash in Clarence Center

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

BBC News article on the plane crash,
Plane Crash in Buffalo Suburb

I woke up this morning to the terrible news; a plane with over 45 people crashed into a home and there are at least 49 deceased. All I could think of was this scripture; how it feels as if these individuals were snatched away from those they love. The pain and shock of grief hit those left behind hard. Yet in the midst of these feelings, Jesus reminds us that the passengers, crew, and those on the ground are in God's hands. Jesus brings eternal life, and the promise nothing can break the embrace of the triune God who holds all of us.

Holy God, we need you now. Please enter into those who are grieving with your life giving presence, to sustain them with the sweet resurrection promise and to help all who mourn find a new normal in life. Amen

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a Prayer for President Obama and the USA

Please read the text of Bishop Gene Robinson's Inaugural Prayer of Invocation (see below) from January 18th and feel free to share this with others. We ask this because this prayer was not broadcast. Of all the inaugural events to neglect to broadcast, it was most unfortunate to omit the prayer of an openly gay Episcopal Bishop, giving the appearance of marginalizing and censoring him.

Millions of people would have heard this prayer, but did not. We are asking you to pass this message on to your email list in the hope that eventually millions will read these beautiful and important words.

Thank you very much.

Bishop Eugene Robinson's Inaugural Prayer:

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will...

Bless us with tears - for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger - at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort - at the easy, simplistic "answers" we've preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience - and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be "fixed" anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility - open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance - replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity - remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters'

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we're asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand - that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


Monday, February 2, 2009

a thought for Black History Month

I found this poster striking, and thought it worth sharing

There is much to absorb in this visual history, please take the time to view it.