Advent Two – Tuesday

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Isn’t interesting that this pops up in the lectionary the day after the Michigan legislature passed the “Right to Work” laws. “Right to Work” laws are an oxymoron in and of themselves. They really mean “Right to treat workers any way you want without having to worry about unions” laws.

The Interfaith Workers Justice reflection for this week said this:

In many ways we are living (like the Israelites in Malachi) after experiencing presidential elections and waiting for the many changes to come in Capitol Hill. Also after facing natural disasters in the East Coast – it sets a very transitional tone not only affecting our country but those around the world as well.

At this time we are also questioning God’s love and justice. All we have to do is look at the difficulties that workers face, many earning wages so low that they can’t even afford to pay for basic necessities like food and shelter. There is an increasing number of people, for example, showing up at food pantries around the country because they don’t make enough to pay for food. Many times these workers also have limited health insurance benefits or no health insurance at all. We can also take a look at homeless and unemployment statistics showing high numbers.

(Malachi) talks about a messenger, someone who would come “to prepare the way” of the Lord. As we enter into the Advent season, how are we preparing for such a significant event? Are we keeping the commandments? Are we leaning towards those who are oppressed? How are we helping those workers earning low wages? What are we doing for our neighbors? In these verses the prophet challenges us to reflect if we are truly ready to “endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?” Are we pleasing offerings to the Lord by what we have accomplished?

Remember, Paul says in the text for today

…we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, …esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Apparently, respect for workers is a requirement for peace, both at home and abroad.

Advent One – Wednesday

1 Corinthians 1:3-9.

I have dithered and fussed and wondered and eventually decided to write what is on my heart today. I’ve done my best to stay away from partisan politics on the blog and on Facebook during the election period but the refusal of the Republicans, for no other logical reason than to be obstructionist, to ratify the UN Disability Treaty is simply unconscionable. There can be no excuse for it.

In this season when we are asked to Hope, I find myself verging on despair, as people in government and the media and the conservative Christian church seem to forget Jesus’ instructions to care for the broken and disabled, both mentally and physically, in our society.

Be sure and read this blog from Jan Edmiston, and join me in prayers for our broken, selfish world.

Rachel Maddow did a good segment on it yesterday, but it hasn’t been posted on You Tube yet, so I can’t link to it for you, but be sure to look for it.

How long, Lord?

What If the Resurrection Were a Lie?

The prompt for the Synchroblog this month is “What if the resurrection were a lie?” Cynic that I am, I am forced to look around and say “What if the world – we Christians – REALLY believed the resurrection were the truth?”

It seems to me, if we really believed it, we would be less concerned with money and more concerned with people.

We would realize that we are all broken and in need of love, instead of pretending that WE are perfect, but everybody else needs to have rules and regulations to keep them in line.

We would be more concerned with the state of this wonderful planet, instead of first focusing on the cost to clean it up or keep it clean.

We would drive more “friendly”.

We would happily pay taxes because we would insure the government was run by folks who were more concerned with other people than their own pockets.

We would stop trying to be “one up” on our neighbors.

We would stop needing to prove our worth by showing how much better we were than the next guy.

We would stop being “in control”, and would let God be in control.

We would look at the gay man, the crippled child, the homeless woman and see the Risen Christ.

And when we saw Christ in their faces and in their eyes we would do everything in our power to care for them – wash their feet, invite them to dinner, house them, care for them – LOVE them, without thinking of the cost to ourselves.

But never mind.

The cost is too high.

We might have to leave our comfort zone and then who knows who might take care of us.

But here’s the thing – the world is not a Zero-Sum place. There’s enough love, and food, and air, and water for everyone, as long as no one grabs more than their share.

There’s enough LOVE, because Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed.

Here’s the list of other Syncrobloggers for this month.