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, July 8, 2016

Where is the love?



People killin', people dyin'
Graffiti in Osttimor, Tatoli ba Kultura, 22 May 2013

Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love, the love, the love
Black Eyed Peas

Where is the love…
Two black men killed by police officers. Five police officers dead and seven others wounded by sniper fire. Over 2000 people have been the victims of gun violence in Chicago since January.  100 killed and wounded by a gun as they danced and lived and loved in an Orlando.
Where is the love…
How do we respond to this violence? This will show who we are as people. Will we respond with an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth? Will we respond with more violence and more hate? Will we draw up into our camps. – left right, black white, democrat republican, fox mother jones? Will we only hear the voices on our side speaking? Will we only hear the voices on our side demanding action and not see or hear or experience that which doesn’t fit with our notions of  the world?                                                         
Where is the love…
The words of love are everywhere in the life I have chosen, the book I have taken to guide me, the man I have chosen to follow. The words of love are there, the way I am to act are there, the comfort I seek are there…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Matthew 5:34-45
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-39
“Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”. Mark 12:29-31
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. John 14:9-17
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
Where is the love…
We have heard it preached and taught. We have heard it spoken to us often, but did we listen? Did we hear “love your neighbors as yourself?” Love your neighbor as yourself. We are to live life in a world where we love. Our neighbor – rich and poor, black and white, Muslim and Christian, criminal and police officer, friend and enemy, gay and straight, male and female. When Jesus is asked to define our neighbor he says it is the one unexpected, the other, the one so different from you that you probably don’t notice them, the one who helps instead of hurts, the one who stops instead of passes by, the one who brings healing and comfort. Will we be that neighbor who shows love even to the one we consider most unlovable?
Where is the love…
Will we be better than we have been? Will we see all of these killings as something seriously wrong with our culture and do the hard work of changing? Will we go to and support black lives matter protests? Will we call out each act of gun violence as wrong? Will we call on our elected officials to change the streets of Chicago from a war zone to a diverse cornucopia of life and love and hope? Will we speak out in the face of racism – systemic, everyday, subtle, hidden – and call it like it is? Will we pray and then act with our bodies, our words, our money, our votes?
Where is the love…
People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love, the love, the love
Black Eyed Peas

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