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Justice and Worship

Reflect, lament, pray, and incorporate God's ongoing narrative of justice for the vulnerable into your devotional life and congregational worship services.

Ash and Oil: March 16

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Ash and Oil: March 13

Hear this, O Job;

stop and consider the wondrous works of God.

Do you know how God lays his command upon them,

and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?

Do you know the balancings of the clouds,

the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect…

(Job 37:14-15)

Ash and Oil: March 11

Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? (Ezekiel 34:18-19)

Watch your step!

It’s a common sign to see in buildings and public places; a little caution to be mindful of where you’re walking so you don’t hurt yourself or anyone around you.

Ash and Oil: March 9

I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon. His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon. They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hosea 14: 4-7)

Ash and Oil: March 6

You have made the moon to mark the seasons;

the sun knows its time for setting.

You make darkness, and it is night,

when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.

The young lions roar for their prey,

seeking their food from God.

When the sun rises, they withdraw

and lie down in their dens.

People go out to their work

and to their labor until the evening.

(Psalm 104:19-23)

Ash and Oil: March 4

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.' Jesus answered him, 'It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’'"  (Luke 4:1-4)

Ash and Oil: March 2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

There is a coastal village just north of Mombasa in Kenya. For generations, the mangrove forests there have created a habitat for fish that has provided food and income for the people of the village. Today that way of life is threatened, as mangroves have become an important source of another commodity in Kenya: fuel.

Ash and Oil: February 27

I have a prayer.  

The most intense week of my life started when I entered a classroom for a one week course. The course was named “Exploring Indigenous Justice and Healing”, taught by Rupert Ross and offered through the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. I had read his book “Returning to the Teachings” a few years before and it had stuck with me. I was excited to hear more as I am in the field of reconciliation and justice.

Ash and Oil: February 25

So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10)

It's Wednesday. Which is not our Sabbath day. But I find myself thinking about Sabbath on this Wednesday anyway - which seems fitting. Sabbath isn't, after all, really about one of the seven days. It's not really about which day during the week we don't mow our lawn or avoid shopping malls. Sabbath isn't really about piety at all.

Ash and Oil: February 23

Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:9)

In the month of April 2013, the community of Kijabe, Kenya received rainfall levels equal to their total average annual rainfall. This extreme rain event reached a climax at the end of the month, when the saturated land could hold no longer, and a massive mudslide ripped through the village, killing three children in its wake.

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