March came in like a lion in many places.
Here’s the wisdom for this week.
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
15:1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
15:3 So he told them this parable:
15:11b “There was a man who had two sons.
15:12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them.
15:13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.
15:14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15:15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.
15:16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
15:17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!
15:18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
15:19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘
15:20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
15:21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
15:22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe–the best one–and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
15:23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
15:24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
15:25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
15:26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.
15:27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’
15:28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.
15:29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.
15:30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’
15:31 Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
15:32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”
Kenneth L. Samuel
“While I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” – Ezekiel 1:1
A Prophet finds himself in the midst of Jewish exiles in ancient Babylon. In exile, the prophet sees vistas of angels and hears a voice of judgement that will immediately chastise and eventually restore his nation.
At the age of 28, Beethoven began to lose his hearing, and by the time he was 44, he was completely deaf. But in the last 15 years of his life, Beethoven composed some of his most cherished and awe-inspiring music.
Born to unwed parents in 18th century Britain, a scientist by the name of James Smithson was denied the right to use his father’s last name during his younger years. Upon his death, Smithson left his hefty estate to his nephew, with the stipulation that if his nephew died without an heir, Smithson’s estate would go to a country he’d never visited to establish an institution of learning. Thus, we have the Smithsonian.
From a cold dark jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote one of the greatest apologetics for non-violent resistance to injustice that the world has ever known. The document has inspired peaceful protests around the globe ever since.
Some of my greatest insights have come in the midst of my own restrictions and inhibitions.
Inhibitions of health, identity and human rights cannot diminish the power embedded in dreams, visions and imagination. In fact, inhibitions are the incubators of our greatest insights and innovations.
What context of confinement will God use as a conduit to give expression to your next big idea?
God, help us to never allow our confines to restrict the content of our visions. Amen.
Hope is not merely the optimistic view that somehow everything will turn out all right in the end if everyone just does as we do. Hope is the more rugged, the more muscular view that even if things don’t turn out all right and aren’t all right, we endure through and beyond the times that disappoint or threaten to destroy us.
Now Is Time
Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.
Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.
My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?
Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred
This is the time
For you to deeply compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
~ Hafiz ~