Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 20: Year 2
Psalms 88, 91, and 92: Esther 8:1 to 8, and 15 to 17; or Judith 13:1 to 20; Acts 19:21to 41; and Luke 4:31 to 37
“If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another. If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly. For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.’ When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.” (Acts 19: 38 to 41)
The unnamed “town clerk” calls for order and rational conduct in accordance with established protocols. Perhaps he is concerned for property and people on both sides of the argument.
Currently, in the United States of America, we are struggling with a Covid 19 pandemic, our West Coast that is on fire, our Gulf Coast hit with the most hurricanes in recorded history; a very divisive political polarization, and on top of all this, we are struggling with issues of racial disparities between police and people of color. Where is our “town clerk?”
The better question should be, where are our clergy? Ouw!, that’s me. Like the town clerk, clergy are called to be outside of the political fray and seek order and peaceful resolutions. Clergy must also remember, and be an advocate for all sides of human oppression or discrimination. Sure, let us be there for minorities and women, but we must also advocate for white men and police persons too. Too often in our zeal for corrective action we allow the pendulum to swing too far to the other side.
Maybe more attention should also be given scientific evidence regarding climate change. This subject should not be considered a political agenda, but rather, and earth agenda. The town clerk in our Acts reading is one of their own but takes a stand in order to calm things down. Today, in America, people are protesting which too often morphs into rioting that destroys family businesses. The town clerk tells his own people that “we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” Maybe I should be doing more of this kind of work. Town clerk or town clergy, more of us need to step up and take a stand against rioting and vandalism. As I write these words I will ponder more deeply what the Holy Spirit of God is saying to me about these matters. I invite you to do the same.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John