upper room daily devotions

Thursday, March 09, 2017

A Prayer for John 3:1-17

In the darkness, we stumble toward you, O God, not knowing where we go or who, in you, we really will find. You meet us here. You reach into the sorrows and questions that compel us to seek you in the dark, and you offer us new life. This new life comes from struggle, as does all life. It springs from mystery, as only life in you can. Love is the source of this life. And that love is you. For this truth, we are eternally grateful. Amen.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

2017 @The Well

Public Engagements for The Well 2017

This year's theme is Repairing the Breach. In addition to our Kids and Race workshops, which are constantly being scheduled, We have the following public engagements already lined up:

  • March 17 - Cornel West Workshop: Love as Prophetic Witness; Lecture: Art as Resistance. Co-sponsored with and hosted by The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Tickets here.  
  • March 23 - Reggie Williams: Interrupting Whiteness: Harlem Renaissance, Black Christ, & Christian Ethics. Come explore how Bonhoeffer's discovery of the Black Jesus during the Harlem Renaissance changed how he understood humanity and divinity, sustaining him for resistance work in Nazi Germany. Tickets here. 
  • May 11 - Diana Butler Bass: Gratitude and Love: Sustaining Powers for Resistance. Tickets here. 
  • June 2 - Ron Finley: Gardening for Community. Gardening for Life. Tickets here. 
  • August 5 - David Zinn: Art for the Soul, Joy, & Community. Workshop on temporary, public art.  Tickets here.
  • September 21 - Rita Nakashima Brock: Moral Injury and Soul Repair. Tickets here. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Lent Confessions

This image from http://likesuccess.com/img58059

This Lent I'm going to get real about some of my darker traits. I am going to look at them and consider them in private. And, from time to time, I'm going to share some of them here. Consider this a kind of community confessional. So, here's confession #1.
Why I think I could kill some people: I typically hold a fairly pacifist stance - generally speaking. I realize that sometimes the violent aggressions of some may require a violent response. And so, I break with true pacifists. That said, I'm about to state how I betray my own internal ethics. 
I really and truly want to hurt people - really hurt them - when I see animal abuse and unethical hunting. The killing of endangered species evokes a violence in me that is incredibly disturbing. I believe that I actually could take a person's life without regret - not just to stop the imminent threat to an endangered animal, but just out of rage and spite. This is a disturbing truth. 
To be honest, I'm not quite sure what spiritual intervention I would like from the Holy One. I don't want to "be okay" with the rapacious greed of humanity that leaves a wake of death behind it. The killing of rhinos for their horns. Elephants for the tails and tusks. Big cats as trophies. Red wolf probable extinction. Or the collateral damage of other animals - western pond turtles due to habitat destruction. And so on. This is not okay with me. I believe the violent responses I feel come from the overwhelming sense of complete and utter powerlessness. Yet, what can be done? Hundreds upon hundreds of conversation groups exist. I give to many of them. And the death continues. I'm not callous to human suffering, but I am especially attuned to the death of non-human sentient beings. 
This ends my confession.

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