OWAAT November 12: Lament, Faith, and Justice

This week’s post is a little later than usual because I have just returned from National Leadership Training, to which I had been encouraged to attend by many of those with whom I have worked at MCU (Metropolitan Congregations United). It was an amazing experience, the effects of which I believe will permeate my life for as long as I draw breath. If you ever have the opportunity to attend this or a similar training, I would highly encourage you to do so, particularly if you’re interested in justice work as a vocation or avocation, and/or being a more effective leader. (If you’d like a really great introduction to justice work in the church as seen in faith-based community organizing, read Doing Justice: Congregations and Community-Based Organizing by Dennis Jacobsen, the director of Gamaliel’s National Clergy Caucus.)

In this week’s Bible reading we continue reading through Book III of the Psalms. In this week’s psalms we find more lament, in addition to some about the church, and other topics.

Think:

Daily Bible readings:

November 12 Psalm 79
November 13 Psalm 80
November 14 Psalm 81
November 15 Psalm 82
November 16 Psalm 83
November 17 Psalm 84
November 18 Psalm 85

Do you know that Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book about the Psalms? It’s called Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible. If you want to read something by one who truly lived his faith, this is a good one.

Pray:

As we continue praying with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for the month of November, using their monthly Prayer Ventures letter for November 2017, take a look at the themes of the prayers. Are there any particular to ELCA concerns? How do their particular prayer concerns for the denomination affect or fit in with those of the wider church?

Act:

What do you see as the differences between God’s realm and our current reality? How will you serve and live out your love for God and neighbor this week, working to close the gap between God’s ideals and our reality as we understand it? If you’re not sure, here are some ideas:

Check the Think! Pray! Act! calendar for things to do.

Find your local faith- or congregation-based community organizing network/organization and participate in their work and actions. Here are links to the major faith-based community organizing networks and their local affiliate organizations:

DART – Direct Action and Research Training Center

Gamaliel

IAF – Industrial Areas Foundation

IVP – InterValley Project

PICO – People Improving Communities through Organizing

What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.

References:
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, and Eberhard Bethge. Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible. Minneapolis: Augsburg Pub. House, 1970.

Jacobsen, Dennis A. Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017.

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