Friday, June 14, 2013 — Week of Proper 5, Year One
Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, 379
[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/ for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 970)
Psalms 69:1-23 (24-30) 31-38 (morning) // 73 (evening)
Ecclesiasticus 45:6-16 (found in the Apocrypha)
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
This will be my last Morning Reflection for the time being. I started e-mailing these in September, 2003, almost ten years ago. I’ve enjoyed the privilege of having the Speaking to the Soul blog on EpiscopalCafe.com picking up my posts four days a week for two years now. Thanks for the great opportunity, Jim.
It all started during a sabbatical when I was reading the Daily Office on my own instead of with others at the church. I missed those conversations about what we had just read, so I started making up my own conversations with myself by journaling. Then the Internet opened up that conversation to others. Posts from 2006 to now will remain available, archived on my blog, lowellsblog.blogspot.com.
But now, I need to be able to be a granddad in the mornings. How many days my granddaughter has come in wanting my attention when I’ve been writing or posting. It’s the best time of the day for a priceless opportunity. I need to embrace that chance.
I’m so glad that my associate the Rev. Dr. Lora Walsh will be writing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She’s a wise and gifted priest.
Many thanks to you, my friends, who have shared the Daily Office and these morning thoughts with me. The gift of your time and attention toward my little thoughts leaves me in wonder.
I am so grateful for the encouragement and challenge I’ve had from so many people who’ve read these posts and offered their comments. I’ve learned so much, and I feel like I’ve got friends galore.
The prophets speak again through the voice of Jesus today as he enters Jerusalem in tears. He echoes Jeremiah’s words describing the siege which predicted the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Jesus sees similar judgment facing the contemporary city. He enacts the hope spoken in the last verse of Zechariah that there be no more traders in the Temple. And he speaks from the vision of Isaiah that the holy precincts be a house of prayer not a den of robbers. Jesus challenges the entrenched powers and speaks of the ideals of a just reign of God. The common people respond from their hearts, but those who are in charge are angry and deaf to his idealism. They will conspire to silence Jesus and to manipulate the people to their will.
I can imagine Jesus speaking similar words today. Our is such an abusive time. Hostility and greed dominate. Power is abused and abusive. The two streams meet when money buys power. Religion is compromised and fails to speak the prophetic call to holiness and justice.
Jesus invites Jerusalem, the seat of political and religious power, to reclaim the vision of the prophets. The prophets insisted upon justice — honesty in all things; equality and dignity for people; special compassion for the poor, the widow, and the alien. The prophets insisted upon holiness — humble obedience to God and God’s ways, right relationships among people, integrity of character. The prophets insisted upon generosity — fair distribution of property and wealth, humility from the powerful, compassion from all.
That’s what I want — from Jerusalem and Washington, D.C. and all the other centers of political and religious power. How different might our nation and world be if we embraced the values of the prophets and the ideals of Jesus?
What would he say as he reads today’s newspaper? What would he say upon entering our Capitol? Our Temples?