Monday, July 4, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Independence Day

MP: Psalm 33; Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8, 12-18; James 5:7-10
EP: Psalm 107:1-32; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 21:1-7

Happy 4th of July. Fireworks started around where I live a few nights ago, beginning a celebration of our country's movement toward individual freedom and civil rights. We are still struggling to figure out and define what all that means: the mess in Washington, DC and the stalemate in Minnesota are proof of that continuing struggle. We have plenty to celebrate today, for the majority of us Americans live a life that is far beyond comfortable, with amenities and privileges we take for granted. So to stop and remember how fortunate we are is a good thing.

Just as importantly, we should balance those thanksgivings with a clear-eyed look at what is left to be done: to remember those who live under the radar and don't share in the wealth and good fortune that so many of us are gifted. The stagnation in our government is symptomatic of a larger issue our society faces, an inability to communicate in a civil manner. We are moving to, and perhaps already live in, an "I gotta have my way" society. For some, the only way they believe they have been listened to, is if their opinions are the only ones that matter. Troubling to say the least for a government and a culture that was founded on representative government: where those elected are given the authority to act in the best interests of all those they represent, not just a favored few. Many of whom are the ones bank-rolling their election.

These are serious rumblings of a system out-of-whack. We all need to listen to and take heed of the words of wisdom in our Ecclesiasticus reading assigned for us today.
Do not get angry with your neighbor for every injury, and do not resort to acts of insolence. Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals, and injustice is outrageous to both. Sovereignty passes from nation to nation on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Cherry Blossoms Triptych, 2010, jfd+

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