Thursday, January 27, 2011

The American Beatitudes?

If America had its own Beatitudes what would they be?
Blessed are those who pick themselves up by their bootstraps and are self made people for theirs will be fortune and fame.
Blessed is the lone ranger, the one who does it their way, for they will never need comfort.
Blessed are the powerful and the influential for they will get what they want.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for instant self gratification for they will be filled and then empty and need more.
Blessed are those who stand up for their rights at all cost and have the attitude “take no prisoner” for they will be admired.
Blessed are those who are strong willed and those who do what feels right in their own understanding, those who stay true to themselves, for they can create God over in their own image.
Blessed are those who can tell others off and demean those who oppose them, for they will be called a good leader, a child of America, and offered their own television show.
Blessed are those who stand up for what they believe and keep people out of their exclusive clubs, for this temporary world is theirs.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arizona Tragedy--some thoughts on language

Yesterday a madman, a disturbed individual or two, a disgruntled voter, someone named Jared went to a "congress on your corner" meeting and shot 19 people, killing a 9 year old and a federal judge and severely wounding Rep. Gabrielle Gifford.
The sheriff in Arizona stated "vitriol may be free speech but not without consequence." People began to complain about the political atmosphere in the country being filled with anger and hate. And then people found on Sarah Palin's website her "crosshairs" where on a map of the United States target marks were placed over areas where Democrat congress members serve. The words No retreat, reload appeared on the website. Palin cannot be held responsible. Nor can Beck.
No, their words were not the rally calls to violence. No, Palin and Beck are not calling people to go and shoot democrats. But have their words added to the violence and anger? Or have their words added to peaceful change?
Scripture states, be angry and do not sin. Being angry is not a sin. And there are plenty of things to be angry with in a broken world and broken system. Using violent imagery when inciting people to act may be cute and get your point across, but it also does not help encourage mature, civil dialogue and solutions.
No Palin is not to blame. But I would ask her and Beck to begin to choose their words better because we can be better. Words have power.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The New Year

I like the word "new". I like to get new stuff. I like new starts. I like "new". But in Scripture when the word new is used is it in the same manner we Americans use it? If I get a new car, I am replacing my old one. I discard the old.
With the coming of the New Year, we do not discard all the years which came before. In fact, we are the sum of those past years in good and bad ways. The New Testament does not replace the Old. The New Covenant in Christ does not discard the Old covenant. Christ came to fulfill the law, not do away with it. I am a new creation, the old has passed away---but does that mean the old is discarded?
God created us with strengths and talents and the ability to love and the ability to know God. In Christ we are new, the old that was self centered and broken has been healed and made new. In Christ we are new, the old that was good has been filled with Christ.
May 2011 be filled with Christ.