God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lord, Let Our Eyes Be Opened

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ 31The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!’ 32Jesus stood still and called them, saying, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ 33They said to him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.’ 34Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:29-34
Lord, let our eyes be opened
Lord, they came close to voting again
they are set to make healthcare worse for some people
they want to give a big tax break to the wealthy and are disguising it as healthcare reform
they want to exempt themselves from the changes
that means it can't be good for the rest of us
Lord, let our eyes be opened
Lord, let us see what is happening
Lord, let us look beyond the news coverage to find the facts
Lord, let our eyes be opened
help us to see the person not yet old enough for medicare
help us to see the people who gained medicare, those working poor who are getting help
help us to see all the people with existing medical problems
help us to see what it looks like for them when they are treated differently than the healthy
help us to see what our insurance covers and what will be left out
help us to see plans that aren't worth the paper they are written on
Lord, let our eyes be opened
but not just our eyes
the eyes of our government officials
may their eyes and hearts meet the people who will be harmed by their actions
may they have to meet these people face to face and tell what they have done
Lord, let our eyes be opened

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Laborers Are Few

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus your mission
go out to all the cities and villages
teach in the church
proclaim the good news of the kingdom
and cure every disease and every sickness
this was you life work
for you to follow your call, live your bliss
you go, teach, proclaim, and cure

but you look around
you notice the crowd
you are moved with compassion
your heart breaks open each time you see the crowd
you know the stories you find
there are single moms just trying to get by
there are elderly couples propping each other up
there are wild youth, people see gangs, you see potential
there are stories of heartache, heartbreak
there are spouses killed
parents ill
children sick
brothers and sisters lost to drugs and alcohol
there are people out of work
there are people without a home
there is hunger and thirst
there are people who choose to love who society feels is wrong
the crowd is full of stories
and each crowd
breaks your heart open a little more

so you tell them the vision
you tell them about the kingdom of God
where the last are first
the hungry are fed
the oppressed are freed
you share about love, true, abiding, love
you try to ease their helplessness
you try to comfort their feelings of harassment
you try too cure their ills

but you lament that there are to few helpers
you lament that there is just not enough laborers for all of the pain
you invite God to send out some more
we hear the invitation
some of us hear the call to teach
some of us hear the call to proclaim
some of us hear the call to heal
and then we meet a roadblock, a stop sign, a barrier
they don't have insurance
they don't have the money
they are so sick because they couldn't get help early on
they can't afford the cure so they live with the disease
they choose their child's medicine over their own health
God of the harvest, send down your help.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The One who Had Been Mute Spoke

After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. 33And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.’ 34But the Pharisees said, ‘By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.’ Matthew 9:32-34
the one who had been mute spoke
I can sympathize
I want people who don't usually have a voice
who aren't asked their opinions
who are silenced
who are interrupted
who are not listened to
I want them to speak
I want us to hear their voice

yet in the world today
a voice that I am appalled by
a voice that scares me
a voice that hurts, wants to hurt others
is speaking
is being heard in ways not heard in years, my lifetime

this voice speaks out
telling me to be afraid of the immigrant
telling me to fear the Mexican
they are are murders, rapists
they are are taking my jobs
using tax money that could help me
yet when I hear immigrants speak
I hear a voice that is scared
a hear of children afraid to go to school because when they come home will their parent be gone
I hear this voice saying the America is a dream, a land of hope, a place where I can feed my family
I hear the struggle this voice goes through
of fleeing violence,
of seeking a better life for themselves and their children
I hear voices that are so much more than Mexicans
I hear the voice of Asians, Africans, South and Central Americans, Indians
These voice open a new world, a world beyond what I could imagine

the one who is mute has begun to speak
God help me to hear the voice of those who make me comfortable and those who are uncomfortable
God if it is me who has been mute help me to speak your truth
that I may amaze those who hear
may my words been unlike anything scene before
God open up the voices you need us to hear

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why Have You Forsaken Me

33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.34At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling for Elijah.’ 36And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.’ 37Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ Mark 15:33-39
 My God, My God why have you forsaken me?
as we drove home from Mikwaukee
the traffic jam began
not today, I have to get home for Good Friday Worship
a cop sped by on the shoulder
an accident I thought
another cop speeds up
there isn't an accident
just a man
a little ragged
a black man
no car, on the highway
they pat him down
touching him in places one should not be touched
this black man surrounded
five cop cars
at least 5 officers
one man

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
this day we remember
when state violence won
when a person who challenged their beliefs
challenged their God
challenged their power
on this day we remember that we kill our prophets

Holy One
we lift before you all who experience state violence
we lift before you those on Arkansas who will be executed before the drugs expire
we lift before you those falsely imprisoned
we lift before you those whose lawyers failed them
we lift before you those who cry out today
don't forsake them
hear their cries
for surely you are the son of God