I am stuck! I admit it. I seem unable to move.
In the past month I have watched three of my daughter’s wonderful young teachers cut from next year’s provincial budget by a reckless, ignorant government. I have listened to escalating threats by two world superpowers elbowing their way to supremacy. I have heard about the mounting tensions in the Middle East, the continued cruelty along the Mexican-US border and restrictive legislation on women’s reproductive rights. And all the while I ignore the climate emergency siren call that continues to drone on.
And what have I done about any of this? Nothing! I am soothed by a market that keeps asking me if I want to be attractive, popular and admired. By current politics that asks me if I want to be secure. And by the church that keeps asking me if I want to be comforted.
It is as if I am paralyzed, lying alongside the pool. Agency is just beyond my reach and so I have convinced myself that I must wait for someone else to come along and move me into action.
Do I want to be well? Do WE want to be well? This is a sobering question and one where the answer is not as obvious as you might first think. I know that this kind of wellness comes from an encounter with Jesus, an abiding with God. Am I up for that kind of transformative spiritual commitment? Am I aware of the change that would be required? Would I even know how to take my first steps?
I am not sure, but I do know that I am getting sick and tired of this inertia, of the waiting.
Some questions to ponder: How is this current political moment surprising you? How are you numbed by the life you live? Where do you feel like you are sleeping through your passion, your call?
JOHN 5:1-9 After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids -blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath.
ACTS 16:9-15 During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.
PSALM 67 May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us. Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. The earth has brought forth her increase; may God, our own God, give us his blessing. May God give us his blessing, and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.
REVELATION 21:10, 22-22:5 And in the spirit, an angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.