Tag Archives: king

on psalm 72

Give the King your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the King’s Son;

That he may rule your people righteously
and the poor with justice

That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,
and the little hills bring righteousness.

He shall defend the needy among the people;
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.

He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,
from one generation to another.

He shall come down like rain upon the cut grass, 
like showers that water the earth.

In his time shall the righteous flourish;
there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more. 

He shall rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth. 

+Psalm 72

We ask for the courage to speak into justice for the poor,
and freedom for the oppressed.
We ask for humility to know that as we speak into these requests,
we speak out against ourselves.
We ask for the imagination necessary to hold us until
we see you covering all the earth like the morning sun and dew.
We ask for the patience to know that as we join you now
still we wait until it is your time.

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear.
And give us courage to speak and work as we wait.

Amen.

djordan
Pine Tree

 

Relate Posts | Monday mornings | Some days we open our eyes | Half ready, half afraid

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failure to imagine

I remember the first time I watched Amazing Grace. I felt immediately proud and cowardly, feeling both as I resonated with humanity at its best and worst. Wilberforce looked the status quo in the eyes, evil and injustice and profitable as it was, and challenged it. Of course, he was able to do so because he had the money and the power and the influence to ultimately play hard ball with the good old boys.

But the scene I remember from the film is one where sitting around a table, their inability to imagine how they could continue profitable businesses, orderly communities, and the current status quo made Wilberforce’s audience unable to move forward with the abolition of slavery. They were likely people who sought justice in other ways, but this hit too close to home, and their imaginations could not overshadow their greed and lust for power.

I was reading a review this week of Taylor’s new book, “A Slave in the Whitehouse,” (referenced here in this week’s MASH) where she described President Madison as one who worked for fair treatment (relatively speaking of course) for slaves in the country, but upon his death did not free a single one of his own. It was Taylor, the reviewer of the book, who stated, “Madison did not believe that white and black Americans could live side by side on terms of equality and amity. His failure to imagine a world more capacious and tolerant than his own helps explain a good deal of subsequent history, and America’s resistance to the very practice of equality that Madison otherwise did so much to foster.”

I think about Martin Luther King.
I think about Nelson Mandela.
I think about Mahatma Ghandi.
I think about the nameless men and women who follow their imaginations into a different kind of possibility for the future. Not just for and around issues of civil justice, but around issues of technology, healthcare, development, education.

They were no doubt met with others whose imaginations had been stifled, and therefore could not wrestle themselves away from comfort and power to risk them both for the sake of a more kingdom-like future.

And so my mind now turns to those schools, churches and organizations that foster imagination and second-guessing as a guiding principle. It is from these communities that we will see change happen. Of all the downfalls I am at risk of meeting, I hope that one of a failure of imagination isn’t the one that takes me down.

My friend Craig has said before, “Of all the ridiculous things God has called us to do, defending the status quo is not one of them.” And whatever is to break the status quo always begins with a strong imagination.

Pine Tree
djordan

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