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Speaking to the Soul: So Very Proudly

Speaking to the Soul: So Very Proudly

Week of 6 Easter, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 85, 86 (morning) // 91, 92 (evening)

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Ephesians 2:1-10

Matthew 7:22-27

The day after the Indiana primary results came in, my husband happened to be traveling to Canada for a conference. We planned for him to joke with the border control agent and claim that he was entering the country to escape American politics. However, the particular border control agent he met was too stern-faced for joking. And indeed, there’s really nothing to laugh about.

In today’s first reading, Hannah sings a song of victory, and I will hope and pray (and fight and sweat) so that I can raise my voice with hers this November. I can’t wait to say, “Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth.” And, I confess, I might indulge in a triumphant round of “My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.”

No, I don’t think that Biblical or spiritual contests between good and evil, between God’s people and their enemies, map very precisely onto contemporary electoral politics. Rather, Biblical voices proclaim the broader victory of fragile humanity over brutal weapons, of human satiety and flourishing over hunger and barrenness, of grinding poverty over the power of wealth.

Yet Hannah doesn’t actually speak in these abstract terms. Instead, she sings about people. She celebrates victory over specific types of people: the proud, the arrogant, the mighty, the rich. Oh Lord, grant your people this victory, and let us lift our song with hers.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


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Lexiann Grant

I tried not to comment but can’t refrain. I came to this column for spiritual sustenance & got someone’s political views instead…which set my day off wrong instead of focused on G-d (& applying spiritual direction to all things in my life). And, worst of all the writer tried to use scripture as the basis for her politics,which, some theological circles might call taking the Lord’s name in vain. Pls have your political views, let your spirituality guide them, but Not Here.

JC Fisher

Lexiann, did you not read the last two paragraphs? (They’re the opposite of “someone’s political views”)

Lora Walsh

Just as you couldn’t refrain from commenting, I couldn’t refrain from writing this post, although I did hesitate. I feel much too strongly that arrogance, pride, might, and wealth–embodied by many candidates–are enemies to the souls and well-being of too many people for me to be silent. I do find that the Scriptures help me give voice to themes that correlate with my political views, but, as I say in paragraph three, they don’t always give clear guidance in terms of voting. Sometimes, though, they do . . . and I think it’s worth mentioning that the Scriptures themselves often have political agendas of their own (bolstering David’s dynasty, for example).

David Streever

What about this is too political? Didn’t Jesus talk about helping others in poverty, regardless of our jobs? Didn’t Jesus talk about peace and love between all people? We can be politicians or bankers or farmers or merchants; we all need to help the poor. We all need to love our neighbors. We all need to be reminded that Jesus didn’t talk to us purely about our own self-interest but also about our duty to love our neighbors as ourselves.

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