Mike’s Rumblings – 11-11-22
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. Tuesday was but a skirmish (with a better than anticipated outcome) in the ongoing battle for the heart and soul of our nation. You know that, right?
What ails us won’t be fixed by one election. Our Republic is still facing some deep issues. We’ve lost more than a bit of our moral mojo and our whole way of being political together is problematic at best.
In medical terms, our democracy is sick.
And it won’t get well until we decide we want to make it well.
Getting to that point might take some time. Tweets won’t fix what ails us. Reading political satire might help us put our ‘grin on’ but it’s not a solution. Wearing a red baseball cap and attending some half-baked rally isn’t the answer. We begin to find the answer when we start to agree that an answer needs to be found. Will that happen? I think it can but the process is going to be an endurance test for all of us. It will require some meaningful self-examination of our own beliefs and motivations and a willingness to have substantive, meaningful conversations with ‘hard to converse’ with people, some of whom are just flat out mean spirited.
I’m willing to do the self-examination and I want to be part of the ongoing conversation, using whatever small seed of micro influence I have to make whatever difference I can. Will you join me?
2. Last week, I listened on the “Pray as You Go” app to the Community of Taizé sing: “Keep me God, for I trust in you. You show me the path of life. With you there is fullness of joy.”
Amen to that. But how to walk on that path?
I take solace in the notion that God is still with me and though the kingdoms of this world shiver and groan and bow to idols, in the Kingdom of God nothing has been shaken, nothing has changed. The good Lord still shows us “the path of life” and on that path the “fullness of joy” can be found.
3. “Rune of Hospitality
I saw a stranger yestreen;
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place,
and in the name of the Triune
he blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones, and the lark said in her song
often, often, often,
goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise,
often, often, often,
goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.” ~ an old Gaelic Rune, h/t Julian
“Christ in a stranger’s guise.” That’s always a wake up call.
4. “Truth does not mind being questioned and a lie does not like being challenged.” ~ PeacefulMindPeacefulLife
Elena Goeokhova in “A Mountain of Crumbs” wrote: “The rules are simple: they lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us, and we keep pretending to believe them.”
Watching the liars before and now after the midterms has been quite sobering. They lie so well. They are so adept in their deceit. They spew untruth without batting an eye and with no sense of remorse. Some believe fervently in these lies and liars, swearing they are anointed by the Lord God. That my friends, is a delusional and hellish point of view.
5. “I want neither a blood and guts religion that would make Clint Eastwood, not Jesus, our hero, nor a speculative religion that would imprison the Gospel in the halls of academia, nor a noisy, feel-good religion that is a naked appeal to emotion. I long for passion, intelligence, and compassion in a Church without ostentation, gently beckoning to the world to come and enjoy the peace and unity we possess because of the Spirit in our midst.” ~ Brennan Manning
Manning wrote “The Ragamuffin Gospel” which I think is an essential read for anyone looking for an expression of authentic faith.
6. “By the way, Liz (Cheney) and I are not courageous. There’s no strength in this. We’re just surrounded by cowards…” ~ Adam Kinzinger
“It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose illusion and error.” Thomas Paine
The illusion and errors supercharge the worst instincts of the easily fooled. And even cowards. if they band together, will find ways to do despicable things.
By the way, Kinsinger and Cheney are courageous. They stood tall when they could have shrunk. And they withstood a red wave of hate, insults and threats.
7. “Contemplative activist and Episcopal priest Adam Bucko believes that contemplation is a universal call that prepares us to seek and do justice: …It has to start with a commitment to a practice of prayer and adopting a way of life that can help me grow and nourish my spiritual life, including building community, so that I may become God’s hands and feet and microphone for healing and justice.
Bucko shares several steps for those beginning a path of contemplative action:
First commit to engaging with the world from a place of prayer, and not ideology …
Second, commit to doing the work of coming to terms with your social location and how it relates to systemic racism, poverty, militarism, ecological devastation, and some of the distorted moral narratives that are so prevalent. Are there privileges you need to acknowledge or let go of? Are there commitments you need to reevaluate?
Third, remember that talking about justice is not the same as doing justice, so simplify your life and commit to ethical living … practice works of mercy, making sure that your hands are touching the hands of someone who is suffering, [and] include Mother Earth in that as well.” ~ Center for Action and Contemplation
One of the great questions is “How then shall I live my life?” Prayer, involvement with others, and living justly and ethically gives us a great starting point for a life of maximum impact.
8. “No matter how you vote, you are welcome in our church. I just ask that you would commit to see politics thru Jesus & not Jesus thru your politics; that you would be curious about why your brothers & sisters see things differently. And that you would live humble, prayerful lives. ~ Rich Villodas, Pastor NewLife Fellowship in Elmhurst-Queens NY
Here’s what I like. Welcoming. Open arms. Christ centered. Curiosity is valued. An emphasis on humble, prayerful lives. A challenge/request – to see Jesus first. Politics through the lens of Jesus, not Jesus through the lens of politics.
9. A friend of mine remarked that “there’s no exemption” for anyone that keeps them from experiencing the impact of the cultural battles that surround us. There’s no place to run. No place to hide. I agree. Either we face what is before us and figure out how to redemptively live in the midst of it or cave into its pressures and passively accept whatever comes our way.
10. My picture and yours is on Jesus’s refrigerator door. He sees us. He might shake his head at times in bewilderment but he never makes a move to take that photo down. This image brings me great comfort.