Someone has done something terrible to you. You can either forgive or not forgive the person who has wronged you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
Mindful that hate is an evil and a dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. But there is another side we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.
Hearing the roar of an overhead helicopter
My heart fills with sorrow.
Instinctively, I think I should seek shelter because
Images of starving and dismembered Yemeni civilians
Come to mind.
I see a child crying over his dead mother and sister.
Bombs have destroyed all surrounding buildings.
Their rubble litters the ground.
Poor child. What is your future? Will you have food to eat?
If you survive and grow to be a man,
Will you seek revenge from the destroyers?
Or will you with the help of other survivors
Be able to bring all power struggles to an end?
And will you and others be able to bring
Peace on earth and good will towards everyone?
Pharaoh and his people believe he is the god above all other gods and that he is in charge and no one dare challenge him. Moses knew Pharaoh would not recognize any gods of his slaves. He believes they are powerless, especially since their God cannot prevent their slavery.
Moses asks Pharaoh to allow the Israelites “to go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.” (Ex. 5:3) We learn that Pharaoh hardened his heart and does not let the Israelites go. Instead he increases their burdens in meeting their daily quota of making bricks.
Nothing is more adorable than a new born baby especially when the child is our own. As proud parents, we start to plan a successful pathway into the future for our baby. The possibilities are unlimited.
When Mary accepts God’s invitation to be the mother of Jesus, she is overjoyed with thoughts of greatness for herself and for Jesus. The visits of the shepherds only reinforce these beliefs. But Mary soon learns when she presents the baby Jesus in the Temple that her dreams are a mirage. Simeon, an old man who believed he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, takes Jesus into his arms and thanks God for letting him see the salvation of the world. Then he says to Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)
No mother, however insensitive, wants to hear the future of her precious child to be tragic. Yet Jesus is a gift to her and to the world. Among the many gifts we give to each other at Christmas, the most important one is the gift of Jesus. Many do not open or accept this gift. Why?Continue reading The Gift of Life
One morning as I was preparing my breakfast, I looked out of my kitchen window to see a doe and a fawn grazing on my lawn— a normal occurrence. Then out of nowhere, I noticed the doe’s other fawn near my neighbors’ 10’ deer fence which stretched along my property line. Continue reading SEPARATED, TRAPPED, AND GONE
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34)
The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2
Are many of our religious organizations and institutions morally and spiritually corrupt and bankrupt? Are they only interested in protecting themselves from their misdeeds and a public outcry for accountability? If so, they should no longer be able to hide and coverup their evil deeds. Power, greed, and lust are the emotional center of predators. Because of their self-centeredness, they hurt others and themselves. Love of God and of humanity is absent in their lives even though they publicly pretend to be holy. To protect the vulnerable and the innocent, the hiddenness of predatory behavior needs to be exposed and legal measures be put in place so as to charge and convict all predators. Continue reading Betrayal/Trust
As we stand at the foot of the cross, let us listen carefully to what Jesus is saying. His first words are “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Who is Jesus referring to when he says “them”? Is he referring to the religious/political leaders who rule through intimidation and fear? Or is he referring to most of his disciples who abandoned him or to the cruelty of the soldiers that enhance their deadly duties? Continue reading Forgiveness
Many good people commit evil by permitting it to exist. Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers, for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
Psalm 37 1-2
Because of our human limitations, God can only be partially known. And only that which God wishes to reveal to us.Christians and Jews believe God lacks physicality and is an eternal spirit or force and creator of all that exists both visible and invisible. God has no beginning and no end. God is beyond the physical universe yet somehow is present to us. God is all knowing and from whom we cannot hide. God rules the universe yet places limitations on Godself so that we may have the freedom to accept or reject God’s sovereignty and to work out our own salvation. God can and does change God’s mind. Nothing is programmed and nothing is pre-determined by God. God grants us self-determination and input into the way our universe is managed be it according to God’s moral order or grasping possessiveness, power grabs, and narcissistic hedonism. Continue reading Theodicy— Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Egoist and those who hold themselves in high esteem want the world to acknowledge their worthiness. Therefore, any flaws in their character or mistakes made by them are denied and blamed on another person, group, or tribe. This behavior existed in Jesus’ time and exists in our time. Continue reading Dodging Responsibility