Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Street Spirituality

" What A Hell Of A Mess  !!! "

" O Tempora, O Mores! "
That's Latin for
" What a hell of a mess! "
...more technically
" Oh the times! Oh the behaviors ! "
It was part of Cicero's rant
 deploring the viciousness and corruption
where he lived out on the streets of ancient Rome.

Well, out on the streets where we live right now
there's all sorts of ranting,
deploring the chaos and conflict  
of our socio/political/religious neighborhood.
Some tell us to hang a hard Right.
Others tell us to take a sharp Left.  
The worse it gets, the worse it gets!  
It scares the Bee Jee Bers out of us.
What's going to happen to us, 
and for that matter,
who is " us " ?

Jesus sure got it right:
" My kingdom is not of this world."
John 15:19

Paul sure got it right:
" For here we do not have an enduring city,
but we are looking for the city to come. "
Hebrews 13:14

The " seer who spoke "
in Revelations  sure got it right 
about the evils of Empire.
See Revelation 18:1-3

 Mess, Empire, Vicious, Corruption, Hard Right, Sharp Left
What happened ?
Well all sorts  of currents collided.
To switch metaphors,
it seems that in the last forty/fifty years
numerous maladies infected the 
Body America:
out of control " ME-ism ",
unabsorbed social and demographic shifts,
rampant materialism,
unquestioned militarism,
addictive and unfocused social media,
profoundly deep rooted and unresolved racism,
confusing globalization,
just for starters. 
Racist fury at the election of a black president
and the knifing of the recent election process
lanced our American Malignancy.
All sordid sorts of vicious puss  exploded,
deranging our inner selves
and rupturing our shared self.
We got what WE GOT!!!
Like the ancient Israelites, 
we messed up big time 
and ended up in a real exile
except we didn't have to drive to Babylon for it!

So, what sort of Street Spirituality  is possible
out here on Exile Street?
Well, those ancient and exiled Israelites       
can be something of a GPS for us
as we try to navigate life
on and out of Exile Street.
The first thing they did was notice what happened.
Not nice!!!  
So, they sat down and wept ( Psalm 137: 1 ).
Recognition and remorse.
The pain of exile,
and it sure hurt,
woke them up,
purified them,
clarified and eventually redirected them.
The pain of exile can do the same for us: 
redirect us.
Individually and collectively 
we need to do real   
The exiled Israelites did that,   
they went deep and wide.
They heard and heeded prophetic leads
like Isaiah and Jeremiah.
They pondered.
They did Soul Share.
They pulled together.
Eventually they got off Exile Street
and on their way home and a fresh start.
We can, too!
Future blogs will offer guides 
form our rich traditions for our needful times.

Hang on!
There's hope, 
a hard hope, but a real hope!!

Thanks for considering all this.

John Frank