A Psalm, Moral Monday, and the Rest of the Week

June 11, 2013

North Carolina Senator Thom Goolsby certainly got the attention of some of us in his rant about “Moron Monday” and a “Circus coming to town.” I read his words and the words of Larry, Moe, and Curly came to me: “I have cut this board three times and it’s still too short.” Illogical logic isn’t. Senator Goolsby might be thinking about how short he has cut his political board. But I do not have to speak to his words, Psalm 5 does. “O Lord, in the morning I plead my case to you… and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness, evil will not sojourn with you. The boastful will not stand before your eyes.”  This is the phrase that caught my heart. I began my meditation in Psalm 5 hearing a voice of personal concern… my cry, my case, my prayer. When I got to verse 4, my heart shifted to remembrance of Monday’s gathering on Halifax Mall under the balcony of the Legislative Building. As an “aging Hippie,” protest is not a new thing. The passion of just cause runs deep in me. I remember the words of Martin Luther King and all the others who rallied around the call of justice. I have sat by silently and cautiously, because the one cause addressed by some is not the only cause that needs addressing. It was the statement of the Bishops and Episcopal leaders of North Carolina, my own Bishop included, that rallied me to Moral Monday on June 10. The words of the Church, carefully spoken words of moral response to the painful issues of the day juxtaposed with what I am observing as pure unabridged arrogance and abuse of power, stirred my heart to respond. What a shocking state of things we find ourselves in! Yesterday the police were standing around the balcony of the Legislative Building. It looked like a scene from China or North Korea where armed forces are paid to protect power. My question rose… who is protecting the powerless? Who protects those who have no voice and little choice? Who, if not the Church? Bishop Will Willamon was on NPR with Frank Stasio on Monday at noon. He was talking about a little trouble he had as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference. He challenged his pastors to preach the gospel…un-varnished, un-sanitized… as the words preached 2,000 years ago by a homeless, jobless, itinerant prophet named Jesus whose call and boldness led him to speak truth to power to the point they killed him on a Cross. If the Church does not call forth the prophetic word for justice, mercy, grace in the face of arrogance and disregard, who on earth will? Here is a word: Be wary of abuse of power. Be open to a dissenting voice. In God’s world, there are NO Outsiders! Open ears to hear conflicting opinion. Dialogue and pray. Be aware that the responsibility of representative government is to ALL the people, not just a few. “The boastful will not stand.” Political parties come and political parties go. Power is fleeting when held in human hands. Name-calling and ego-drive do not build a sustainable kingdom of any kind. The work of the people is to watch and listen; that is what God will be doing on Moral Mondays and for the rest of the week. Amen.    

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