Mike’s Rumblings – 04-21-23
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. “If I were going to begin practicing the presence of God for the first time today, it would help to begin by admitting the three most terrible truths of our existence: that we are so ruined, and so loved, and in charge of so little.” ~ Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
Facing truths frees us up. We don’t have to fake anything anymore. It also opens the door that leads to intimacy with God. And when we grow close to God it’s wise to heed the counsel of Desmond Tutu: “We are only the light bulbs and our job is just to remain screwed in!”
Screwed in not screwed up.
2. “Guns aren’t the problem. People are the problem.
Then why do you want the problem to have guns?” ~ Leah Stites
In the midst of this crucial national discussion, Republican candidates and wannabes, made their annual pilgrimage to offer themselves body, mind, soul, and heart to the god named NRA which just happens to have, surprisingly enough, a huge war chest filled with cash.
WAPO reported that “Due to Secret Service security requirements, guns were not allowed in the room where candidates spoke…”
WAPO also reported that “in the hall next door, amid more than 14 acres of guns, bullets, taxidermy and memorabilia, attendees sported red bags of convention swag. Particularly large crowds circled stands featuring AR-15 rifles, the weapon used in many mass killings.”
I’m sure all the conventioneers were thinking, “This is great. I can do all my Christmas shopping for the grandkids right here, right now. Maybe I’ll by a t-shirt for each of the twins. They’d love the one with Jesus holding an AR-15, saying “This is how the Prince of Peace rolls.”
3. “People regularly say, if there really was a God, if he really wanted to sort the place out, then he would come and, bang, it would be done. He would send in the tanks — metaphorically speaking, or perhaps not — and sort out the evil and wickedness in the world. But the Sermon on the Mount says that when God comes to sort out the world the Jesus way, he doesn’t send in tanks. He sends in the poor and the brokenhearted and the hungry-for-justice people and the meek and the people who are ready to suffer for getting the world sorted out.” ~ NT Wright, PhD, New Testament Scholar, Oxford
That means power trips and ego driven power people aren’t what the upside down Kingdom of God uses to sort things out.
Jesus sends the the poor, the broken hearted, the justice minded people, the meek and the ready to suffer to the power trippers. They are the ones who need the help reorienting their lives for they are grossly out of step with God’s intentions.
Interesting isn’t it?
T.S. Elliott once wrote: “Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.”
4. The renowned Irish writer Samuel Beckett penned these words : “Don’t look for meaning in the words. Listen to the silences.”
Silence speaks its own language. And sometimes it reveals to us the gentle and quiet whisper contained within it. Just ask Elijah the prophet and then read Psalm 46 which reminds us to “Be still and know I am God.”
5. “The crowd marched together from the Lorraine Motel to the Shelby County Commissioners’ meeting, where spectators there cheered when Pearson arrived. The commissioners voted unanimously to reinstate Pearson until a special election can be held. The Republicans on the commission didn’t show up to vote.” Heather Cox Richardson
They didn’t show up to vote. It’s their job to vote. How cowardly. How thinly veiled is their contempt for any iteration of democracy that challenges their own.
6. “A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else. That is a definition that will never fail us, always demand more of us, and give us no reasons to fight, exclude, or reject anyone. ~ Richard Rohr
“When you and I embrace Jesus’ essential paradox—that to lose is to gain and to die is to live—we come to God, who gathers up the broken pieces of the world and makes them more complete and beautiful than they were before they broke.” ~Rachel M. Srubas
May it not be said of us that when we first saw the cracks appearing in our world and in the lives of others we did nothing to repair them.
May it not be said of us that we were OK with passing by, attentive to only our own agendas, satisfied with our own selfishness.
May it not be said of us that we were not curious enough to wonder whether or not our indifference marginalized others.
May it not be said of us that we couldn’t be bothered to care about lives being broken in a world breaking apart.
May it not be said of us that we failed to see the world the way God does.
May it not be said of us that we passed up opportunities to be healers.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
7. “I wanted to see Rupert Murdoch put his hand on the Bible and burst into flames!” ~ Stephen Colbert
¾ of a billion dollars for ¾ billion lies I’m reckoning.
8. Florida is a state operating on a ‘winner take all’ philosophy. Extreme gerrymandering has resulted in win/lose governance. The result is that it has become not a particularly safe place for anyone who’s not an uber conservative, white, evangelical, or heterosexual. It is, however, becoming quite a safe haven for those valuing intolerance.
I hope reading this makes you sad and then righteously angry and then stirs you to do whatever you can to make sure this doesn’t happen where you live.
In the meantime, there’s a whole lot of really good people in Florida who are fighting back, who are advocating for righteousness, and demanding change. Pray for them. They’re rolling a big boulder up a steep hill.
9. “The work of prophets is to warn, to warn people of the inevitable consequences of their foolish or immoral actions. It will be the end of the world as you know it, the prophets say, unless you rethink your current assumptions, values, and priorities, unless you become ready to change your way of life. Usually, the people don’t listen.” ~ Brian McLaren
There are prophetic voices in our midst even today. Are you not hearing them? Selective listening tunes them out and we are the poorer for it. Flip the switch and decide to be a curious listener. Watch what happens. You just might hear the words of modern day prophets and be gifted with a sense of ‘holy discontent’. And you will be forever changed.
10. Our job according to Dietrich Bonhoeffer is to “not simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spike into the wheel itself.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that he was right. Bandaging wounds is a very good thing but dealing with the system that’s doing the wounding just might be the better thing. No worries. We can do both at the same time.