Pondering for Saturday: August 24, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 15 Year 1

AM Psalm 137:1-6(7-9), 144; PM Psalm 104 2 Samuel 23:1-7,13-17; Acts 25:13-27; Mark 13:1-13

“By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered you, O Zion.” (Psalm 137:1)

Psalm 137 is the saddest Psalm in the Bible for me. We never hear it in the Eucharistic lectionary I don’t think (haven’t really done the homework).  But this Psalm ends very sad; something about dashing baby’s heads against stones.  Horrible!

And yet it is genuine in its anger for what has happen to the people of God who had bad leadership.

I think all people are people of the land that they live on, and in the community in which they live their lives.  I was born and brought up in Nashville, Tennessee.  I still love the place although my brother tells me that I would not know the place now, so much has changed.

While I served in the Marines various lands were summed up as “duty stations.”  The comment most often heard is that the best duty station ever was the one you just left, or the one you are going to. It was never the one you were currently assigned.  Today many people are as transit as military folk.  Some places and or communities are more meaningful for us than others. Sometimes it’s the land, sometimes it’s the people.  A caution is served here.  Land pretty much stays the same, the mountain ridges, the valleys, the same annual temperatures with associated rainfall and such. People however, change. And sometimes, people are forcibly changed.

Sometimes whole communities are dragged off to other lands.  This happened as expressed in the Psalm above about the Israelites forcibly taken to Babylon.  And it happened in western Africa in the mid fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as people were taken from their homes and forcibly brought to the Colonies, which became the United States, and made slaves.

I heard long ago that you could take the boy out of the country but you can never take the country out to the boy.  There may be some truth to that. The Israelites longed for their homeland of Jerusalem. They lamented about it and a possible return.  I think also they learned much from their experience in Babylon. I have learned that they first put their ancient history in writing while in Babylon. To that point their history was contained in oral stories. This is something to ponder later.

I think we all can learn to appreciate any place on earth as long as we are in good fellowship with God loving people who strive to create an environment where all have the opportunity to be what God has created us to be. A place not forced on us.  We will sing our old songs and we will create new ones that our children will sing. We will learn to share the joy and create hope for all.

Let is hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s People.  John+

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