A crisis of trust and seven predictions

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Pixabay Image

We can’t deny it. Our country was built on rebellion. And rebellion is the result of a breach of trust. When people flood the streets to protest for their rights to congregate or practice their religion, well, that is in our American DNA.

Our founding fathers did not trust the government, so they wrote checks and balances into the Constitution so it would be darn near impossible for tyranny to take hold. …


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Public domain

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Our nation has always understood that the strength of our country and constitution depended upon us — We, the people.

The power of our form of government and constitution derives from us. We, the people, are the ones who form the more perfect union. We are the ones to establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility. Fundamentally, neither the government nor the document can do this.


A poem of portents

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Image by Richard Cejas, Pixabay

When the Blazing Eye stands in the sky
neither sun, nor moon, nor star.
The portent signs the dire times
chastisements are not far.

What light a sign in blazed rhyme
when love attempts to turn us,
‘tis not too cruel if turn the fool
from follies amending life thus.

But wait a while before too long
a sign will light the sky up.
‘tis mercy just when on us thrust
that wine was tread in our cup.

Though signs increase yet still as yeast
our sins be multiplying,
each one implores from heaven’s stores
we turn to Christ’s supplying.

It pleases not the Divine will
to send us tribulations,
when pride decides and still derides
the good is bad libations.

When you see the sign there still is time
to turn your heart to heaven.
Before too long the storm too strong
to make the wanted haven.

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Poem and riddle to tell the tale, to light the dark and hit the nail.

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The frothy sea does churn,

when beastly hearts do burn

with wicked words as unsheathed swords,

the foolish heart to turn.

Lament for sins abound,

those hidden now resound.

What back is black to turn the tack

and white is turned around.

Cloaked danger clouds our fate,

and armed with cruel hate,

some spirit slithers its good seduction

to remake men and state.

When totem kingdoms fall,

that stone will strike them all.

What reign does rise, come from the skies,

the judgement not forestall.


An Argument for Opening Churches Sensibly

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With Permission Photo by MJMirabile

There are people who don’t think religion is very important. Many of those hold political positions. Some of them have declared that churches are non-essential services during the Covid-19 crisis. Could it be that these people don’t understand the importance of faith in times of crisis? Are they the wrong people to decide?

Liberals, according to Pew research, are not very religious. Most almost never attend religious services, a disappointing 79%. Prayer, Bible study, and religious education are nearly as unimportant, at 71%. Moderates are not much better. Their absence from church lies at 69%, and 72% respectively. Fewer than 26% of moderates and 18% of liberals turn to religion for guidance. …


Paul’s advice for a people in an unsteady world

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The Last Supper Restored — Leonardo Da Vinci — Wiki Commons

The women go to the tomb and find it empty.

“He is not here. He is risen,” the angel says.

They return to report to the disciples, who hear the news in disbelief.

The news of the Resurrection launched its own conspiracy theories. The women who came to the tomb believed someone had taken the body. Some said the Jews took the body. Others said the Romans took it.

Later that evening Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you”. It was that appearance that allayed their fears and quelled the conspiracy theories for the disciples. …


Shut up in the house of the dead

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Pixabay Image by 272447

It is evening, after supper. They have enjoyed the Passover meal and Jesus tells of a betrayer. He takes bread and wine and, blessing them, tells his beloved friends that he has inaugurated a new covenant in his own blood. They struggle to comprehend this.

The scene shifts and they are on the mount of Olives, in the garden of Gethsemane. It is late, and they are tired, and Jesus insists on praying. “Keep watch with me and pray that you are not tempted”. He agonizes in prayer knowing what is about to befall him. He asks his Father that this “cup” pass from him. …


Stressors reveal how hollow or helpful religion can be.

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Photo by MJMirabile. With Permission

Armed with a prayer book, I vault into the darkness. A prayer book. An old one, but not so old. And this book, it prays for us as our little community of believers seek consolation. We huddle together behind our screens and hear and pray together the comforting words. We light our little candle in the darkness, and we are comforted.

When things are difficult, it is helpful to have established practices to help hold the world together. Our world seems to be flying apart, even before there ever was a pandemic, we seemed to be flying apart. Politically. Socially. …


Questions we ask when things go wrong

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Pixabay Image, edited by M Mirabile

Suffering?

There is never a truly good answer when, as a pastor, you are standing over a hospital bed when the family that has longed for a second child has lost it just weeks before it’s due, and this after their first child has suffered numerous surgeries and complications. In situations like this, the question most often asked is “Why did God do this?”

Even people who don’t believe in God, when things turn for the worse, for the very worse, ask that question in some form.

“Why?” and “God” will always appear together in a sentence, eventually.

A twelve-year-old child loses their beloved grandmother to cancer and asks, “Why God? I loved her. Why did you take her?” …


A poem of sinners lament

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Image by _Marion from Pixabay

Some seed fell on the stony ground. That is like a person who hears the message and right away he is glad to hear it. But it does not go down deep in his heart. He believes it for a short time. When trouble or a hard time comes because of the message, he stops believing.

Matthew 13:21–22

Make me feel better

I beg you keep talking

Your voice is so soothing

my fear is still stalking.

Make me feel better,

unaccustomed to grief

I’d like to hold God

In the palm of belief.

Don’t speak of bad…

About

Matt Mirabile

Critical Believing. A pastor and spiritual director examines issues critical to, for, and of believing, in our post-christian context.

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