#reLentless #truth

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Truth is my weapon of choice. When meeting with adversity and evil. When facing down the human machinations that we call politics, when dealing with the perniciousness of gossip, when hearing a criticism that burns my soul….I choose truth

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Its a chancy weapon, because its a double edged sword, naming who I am in the situation even as it names others. It becomes confession. When you tell the truth you admit to yourself, and all others, that you are but human.

And I am all too human, horrible at remembering the names of my 40 some congregants who I have known for 6 plus years (and I am young), bad at details, fumbling at asking for help when I need it. I am small and frail. Spending a season admitting that I was, am and will be Ash is hard.

But even as I admit who I am, I also admit who God is.

“You are my God” “To you I cry all day long”

“Be gracious to me” and “Gladden the soul of your servant” for all that I lack, God has, and all that I wish for, God knows and all that I need, God is.

Other gods, do not dirty their hands with humanity. They may bargain or scheme with humans, using them or playing with them. But they do not broker humanity choosing to enflesh themselves through their only son.

I will bow down before the Lord my God, and glorify her Holy name, for God alone does wondrous things, stepping beside us in the daily, dirty, beautiful thing called life.

Only God does it all through truth, revealing to us who we truly are

Revealing to us who God truly is

Because you Lord, “have helped me and comforted me”

Praise Be to God

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=355488475

#Relentless #oppress #Slatespeak

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O how it hurts me that Christianity is used for a tool of oppression. In the grand pantheon of ways to be Christian, I figure you and God are working it out.

Unless you are using the Gospel to preach hate or oppress someone, because that right there people, is heresy. Heresy is using the Gospel for the opposite of its purpose.

Hate instead of love and Oppression instead of freedom are pretty much it.

But it hurts, because I benefit from oppression. I’m white and I have to deal with my whiteness. I’m cis-hetereo and I have to deal everyday with the fact that my so-called normalcy gives me an advantage.

And Jesus isn’t about the normal people. The more we normalize Christianity, the more we make it about power. In a slatespeak discussion a couple of weeks ago, my colleagues mused that Imperialism is when we are mistakenly convinced that God only talks to those in power.

Heresy, again I cry heresy.

I cry heresy to the core of my soul, but Christianity has been entrenched and tied to Power forever. Only Christ can save it. Only Christ can save us.

Because, we are the nation “trumpeting our righteousness”, even as we sin. We only fast “to quarrel and fight”

So this is the FAST that I choose

to loose the bonds of injustice–against the Trans, Muslim, Autistic, Lesbian & Gay, Deaf, Jewish, Sikh,  Genderqueer, Blind, People of Color, Mentally Ill, Asexual, the poor and the children.

To undo the thongs of the yoke of the overworked, the under appreciated, the homeless, the victims of violence, the helpless, the depressed, the lonesome

To Let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke.

The way to do this is to share my bread with the hungry, to bring the homeless poor into my own house and cover the naked.

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

water, food, shelter, medical care, clothing, treating each other as human beings

the most basic and essential of prayers for all peoples

To somehow empower without enabling, to be gracious in an unjust world and to magnify those voices that society tries to erase, ignore or unnamed.

For then the light shall break forth like the daw, and healing shall spring up quickly.

Heal us, break us our from our own heresies, entrench us instead in love.

 

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Isaiah+58

 

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#Days #relentless #slatespeak #Lent

c5nwu43uoaagif5What is the length of a day? Some days pound on me, relentless, some days never let me go.

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Deuteronomy+30

The length of days–heaven and earth are called to witness–will count. When we choose life our time counts even moreso.

Before I had children I would strive to be on time for everything. My parents were not the on time sort, and apparently I used to complain that I was the last child to be picked up from things.

Today I not only have to be late to things, but I have to miss commitments. Things I never would have done before children. But life is more complicated now I have a church, a husband, 3 children-one of whom is autistic-and myself.

WAIT! that meeting was today too? I had it in a different time stream in my mind and didn’t realize it was the same day.

Time no longer runs in straight lines for me, its seems to squiggle and intersect in weird ways. Its like running parallel world at the same time.

Thus obligations and time and everything flows differently.

We count our days, but God is the true reckoner, and God’s way of counting is not in pure math or numbers. Its in experiences and hope, its in the life-giving moments.If I have three children, then God has all children. If time flows different with different children for me, then time takes on meaning beyond seconds and minutes and days. Time has become an out of body experience. But time has also become more meaningful than trying to do all the things or trying to count up my life by counting. Because nobody has time for that. Time has to count with the goodness and fullness of days.

Because, God is timeless, its hard to conceptualize A Being beyond time…

A Being who just Is, for whom Was and Will Be are intrinsic.

 

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Time counts differently for God

Time counts differently for God’s people.

Hold Fast to God, but how do I do that? My concept of holding on is to calculate the time I spend in prayer or measure the good deeds that are done. I’m too human, I can only love by keeping track. As evidenced in this 30sec clip  http://thirtysecondsorless.net/author/kstenta/

God loves me, without needing to keep track.

How do I let go of the relentlessness of time? How do I enter the time of Lent?

 

 

 

#ash #psalm51 #relentless #lent #slatespeak

I have been feeling the #relentless-ness of life this season. The relentlessness of the news cycle, telling me over and over how broken we are…

The Jewish Community Center daycares receiving bombthreats

The 7 Trans women who have been murdered

The queer couples who married quickly, just in case

The travelers who are being detained and kept from their families

The need for young transpeople to go to the bathroom safely

The international relationships that are in peril

The Jewish cemeteries being desecrated

The Dakota Pipeline camps being cleared out

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Psalm+51

Ministry, is about life, which means that there is seldom a “normal week” in the church. The best of ministry is open and adaptable, because Life is Relentless. The basement pipe leaks, then a member is ill and dies, then the governing body is borrowing your building for a meeting, then your board member steps down. This is church, its imperfect, because its alive. Its real, because it reflects real life, its about the imperfections and love in the midst of the daily-ness.

Relentless, means “unmerciful” and “heartless” and “unforgiving” Life is indeed relentless.

Lent, then is the season of the opposite.

Its the season of “have mercy on me O God” the season of God’s “steadfast love” the season of “abundant mercy.” Its the season of pause and reflection. Its the wait and see, its the celebration of the journey.

And I am aching for this season. The restoration of Joy, because only God can provide Joy in this time of weary sin. Only God can sustain a spirit of willingness.

Good thing you like broken spirits, God, cause thats what I got. Brokenness and Hope.

Lent & Relentlessness

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