Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is It Well With Your Soul?

Eight years ago, I went to an evening Love Feast at the Brethren church where I was on staff as a licensed minister. The USA had begun bombing that day in a nation that I had paid little attention to in my hectic days of seminary, work, commuting to Gettysburg, and trying to be a wife and mom. The Love Feast Service began in the sanctuary with a time of confession and prayer. As a citizen, I felt I had a lot to confess. I felt a responsibility for the bombs being dropped and a responsibility for not paying attention to the world situation. Prayer concluded with the song, “When Peace, Like a River”. When I got to the words, “It is well…with my soul,” I choked. I couldn’t sing them because no amount of prayer made me able to sing those words on a night when US bombs where dropping on a city in the Middle East.
Too often our spiritual lives and our daily living are disconnected. Most of us go through each day doing ‘what has to be done’ in the hope that by evening there will be a little time to ourselves for family, TV, or a book. Then we sleep only to get up and begin again. Space for reflection is seldom part of our day or week or month…
Holy Week is a special time of year that invites reflection. Beginning with Palm Sunday’s triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and continuing with the moving rituals of Love Feast that mirror Jesus' last supper, we are transported out of our daily routine and reminded that we have a soul that needs tending. Before we rush into Easter and the glory of the resurrection, let’s take time to reflect, to consider how we feel as citizens of the world and, as citizens of Christ’s kingdom. Just how ‘well’ is our soul? I look forward to seeing you for the meal, feetwashing, and communion on Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m. April 21 for our Love Feast.

A Tweet about Peace
Church of the Brethren Peace Witness sent the following Tweet on Wednesday, March 23 suggesting we read an article that wonders if WAR is now our normal state? The following is an excerpt from the article. It is for each of us individually and for us, as a congregation to decide if War will be ‘normal’ for us.
From CoB_Peace: “An interesting look. What do you think? Is #war our new normal? Is it new? (link to full article)
The Normal of War By John Cory, Reader Supported News, 22 March 11
Reader Supported News | Perspective  
o here we are.
The 8-year anniversary of shock-and-awe and the invasion of Iraq. 10 years into Afghanistan.
War is so normal, so mundane, that we just accept it - like checking the daily weather report - cloudy, with a chance of gloom and death.
I read a poll that said 60 percent of Americans want out of Afghanistan, but only 2 percent thought about war during the 2010 elections.      No mention of Iraq.
Does anyone else see the irony of the new Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya on this weekend anniversary of the war in Iraq? Or the inkblot spread of the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan? Or the re-appearance of retired generals on MSNBC and CNN explaining how this new operation is necessary and will lead to good old-fashioned democracy in the Middle East? It all sounds so very familiar.
Wild Eddie once told me, "History is just an old martini with a fresh twist."
The words and phrases spill across the airwaves: Our brave men and women - justified action in defense of freedom - the full backing of the United Nations - neutralize assets - broad coalition - UN Resolution - force is not our first choice - overwhelming airpower with precision targeting.
And so it goes. A new war made of the same old flesh and bombs.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported

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