WHO YOU HATE IS WHO YOU ARE?
I saw this on Facebook the other day. It was posted by a colleague in the Diocese of Oregon. I think it is certainly appropriate in this season of unrest and division, but also as a daily spiritual discipline.
"Historian Henry Adams once defined politics as the 'systematic organization of hatreds.' It was true in the Civil War era, and just as true today. In 2020, who you hate is who you are."
(From an article in "The Week" by William Falk)
Since the Christian may only hate sin, not other people (even our enemies), this calls into question any shackling of faith to partisanship. Who we hate should be brought before Christ's altar for judgment. If our political alliances, predilections, news-feeds, or biases are leading us to hate other "types" of people, then they must be cast before that altar. If we do not, it is simply idolatry--the deepest and most detestable of sins.
If you read this and immediately thought of all the people you know who need to do this, you missed the point. The exercise of bringing hate to Christ's altar for judgement is something that does not pertain only to "the other side," or to "those people." In fact, it doesn't apply to "them" at all, it applies to you and me personally. This is an exercise we all need to participate in, it is why we say the Confession of Sin publicly every week - to acknowledge not only our bad behaviors, but our bad attitudes as well. Chief among them and most important to guard against is hate.
Take a good look this week at your political alliances, predilections, news-feeds, and biases. Are they leading you to hate others? Don't sugar coat it. If you come up with other words such as dislike or disagree go deeper. Don't think in terms of 'right and left" conservative or liberal. Try empathizing with those on "the other side" or "those people." If you discover that a certain person or group is leading you to hate others, abandon it, turn your back on it and turn toward the two great commandments" Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.
This is hard work, but it is work each of us needs to do every day as we try to follow Jesus the way he wants to be followed and to care about the people, Jesus cares about.
IN-PERSON WORSHIP TO RESUME
The numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, people on ventilators and the positivity rate have all been decreasing over the last several weeks. This is encouraging but we need to remember that COVID-19 hasn't and isn't going away. It's simply being contained by the wearing of masks, social distancing and hand washing.
That said, we will begin gathering in-person again on September 27. This date will allow us to thoroughly assess any COVID-19 related issues that may arise on Labor Day or are connected to kids going back to school. We will monitor both situations and if they create significant problems we will push back our opening date.
In addition, the Bishop has lifted restrictions on gathering for Sunday School, Bible Studies and various other meetings beginning September 14. This does not mean we will go back to in-person meetings right away, but does mean we can begin to make plans and come up with protocols for these meetings.
We will continue with one service at 9 AM for the foreseeable future. The KEEPING EACH OTHER SAFE DURING WORSHIP guidelines are still in full affect and will be until there is some sort of treatment and/or vaccine. Click Here
to read them. Please not there is one change from the previous guidelines - face masks will be required
We will continue to offer services via YouTube for those of you who are not able or would prefer not to attend in-person worship. Click here to watch last Sunday's service
THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY - SEPTEMBER 3 AT 10:00 AM VIA ZOOM
We continue with our study of the Prophets. This week we will take an in-depth look at Hosea 4:1-5:15. Here are some discussion questions that will guide our conversation.
- What does the Lord claim is lacking in Israel? What does God find instead? What are the consequences of such a climate of evil? (Ch. 4)
- Of what are the priests guilty? What are the consequences of their actions? (Ch. 4)
- What is a "spirit of prostitution"? How does it hook it's victim? What is it's seductive impact on future generations? (Ch. 4)
- What is God's concern for Judah? What does he urge them to avoid? (Ch. 4)
- What three groups are indicted by the Prophet? To whom have they been a snare? Why does the Lord promise to discipline them all? ( Ch. 5)
- How far have the people sunk in their corruption? What is their root problem? (Ch. 5)
- How does God intend to deal with Israel and Judah? (Ch. 5)
PSALMS PROJECT - NEW VIDEOS ADDED (Psalm 46, 100, 138)
With the addition of these Psalms we now have fifteen Psalms posted on YouTube and look forward to more in the future. You can view them by clicking here
. Invite your friends to view them and use them in your daily devotions. The psalms are primarily hymns and they need to be spoken and/or sung in order to receive the full impact of what they are saying to us and for us.
There are plenty more Psalms to be recorded. If you would like to participate or have already participated and would like to record some more Psalms contact Fr. Chris at email@example.com.
A LITTLE HUMOR
"God never said the journey would be easy,
but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile."