Pslam 46, interpretation by James Taylor
God says, "STOP IT"
Wars and rumours of wars swirl around us'
corporate conflicts engulf us.
Only God stands firm in these shifting sands.
God is our shelter from strife
God give us strength for the stresses of each day.
We have nothing to fear.
Though the social order is shaken,
though our leaders come crashing down,
though time-honoured standards fly at half-mast
and the values we inherited are scorned - even then, we have nothing to fear.
The comforting presence of God pours over us
like cool water on a burning beach
it makes us glad.
God is with us.
God is an oasis of calm in a frenzy of feeding sharks.
The ambitious climb over each other;
the emperor stands naked in the clear eyes of innocence.
They are all frozen in their folly.
But God is with us; God is our sanctuary.
See how wonderfully the Lord works!
Those who would beat others have beaten themselves;
those obsessed with winning wind up as losers;
those who think only of themselves
find that no one thinks of them at all.
All their struggles add up to nothing.
This is God's work to the warring: "Be still!
Be still, and know that I - and only I - am God?!"
In the tulmult of the nations,
in the torment of the earth,
God is with us.
God is our sanctuary.
Thanks be to God.
Musical reflections for the week......
* beautiful rendition of Psalm 131 by The Fellowship,
composer Michael John Trotta
*Oh, Lord You're Beautiful, written and performed by Keith Green
*Modern communion reflection, The Body and Blood, performed by Janet Paschal
*One Voice Children's Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs "When You Believe." Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy's Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust.
Compassion is the heartbeat of humanity. We are most fully ourselves, when we see someone in the truth of his or her experience and are moved to respond with kindness and care. . . Pausing from the busyness of our lives and recognizing the tender humanity of another restores us to our own humanity. The pulse of care and connection within us resuscitates. Our hearts, normally dulled by the day’s burdens, beat freely with love. And the ensuing kindness we extend to others has the power to resuscitate their spirits as well. For compassion not only restores the heart of our own humanity; its healing care makes human once more the heart of another grown hard and cold.”
— Practicing Compassion, Frank Rogers, Jr
If you are wanting to know how non-violence works in a very real and tangible way, you might want to have a look at the on line magazine Waging Non-Violence - people powered news and analytics. to https://wagingnonviolence.org/ Non-violent forms of initiating change are powerful tools for shifting the balance of power to a more equitable place. In particular, Waging Non-Violence is currently releasing a series of podcasts entitled City of Refuge. "It is the little-known story of a French community that openly rejected the Nazis and saved 5,000 refugees is a model of resistance for our times. We’ll experience their heroic efforts through the words of leading figures, still living community members and some of the people they saved. We’ll also examine the important lessons this story offers us today — amidst rising authoritarianism and another global refugee crisis." André Trocmé, a Protestant Minister and his wife Magda were the remarkable couple who led an entire town to follow in the way of love. We can learn much from them, about our own faith and how it is to be lived out in the times in which we live.
Ken Sehested writes as an American in 2019 so his references are of his political/geographical context, but his poignant thoughts provoke never the less. And Remembrance Day is a day to be provoked, to be prodded, to be discomforted. For those who wish to bring peace into this world, it is a time to reconsider many things. . .
"Veterans Day doesn’t lend itself to commercial attention like its twin, Memorial Day, probably because it’s squeezed between two other cash-registering holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and it does not coincide with a car-cultural observance like the Indy 500 auto race.
But it is a federal holiday, what was originally called Armistice (or Remembrance) Day, marking the cessation of World War I hostilities on the 11th month of the 11th day at the 11th hour in 1918.....Have a read.....