So now we’re in the thick of reading Ezekiel. How is this Bible in 3 Years plan working for you? It’s been my experience that it’s easier to keep reading and to catch up when necessary when there’s less reading per day. It’s also easier to “live in” a biblical text and/or book when you can spend more time with it – so I’m finding it easier to stick with this plan than so many others myself and/or others have created. Another strategy that has helped me stick with the reading is that I consider it “no shame” reading – which means that if I miss a day, I don’t give myself much grief about what I missed and either go back and read it or move on, depending on how much time I have. While I find it’s good to have the expectation that I’ll read it all, it’s better to skip some and “get back on the wagon” than to get into the catch-22 of feeling bad about not reading, which makes me want to not read even more.
July 22 – Ezekiel 7
July 23 – Ezekiel 8
July 24 – Ezekiel 9
July 25 – Ezekiel 10
July 26 – Ezekiel 11
July 27 – Ezekiel 12
July 28 – Ezekiel 13
Where we are in Ezekiel seems all-too-timely these days. Chapters 7-10 is Ezekiel’s second vision, including a prophecy of doom for Jerusalem that God says its people are not supposed to hear, anyway. I must admit, I don’t understand why the author would frame things in such a way that people are deliberately not supposed to hear what one of God’s prophets are saying. Doesn’t it seem counterproductive? As I consider the current political situation, though, it is not impossible to consider the possibility of a concentrated group of those with power being unwilling to listen to prophetic voices calling people to look toward the future, rather than back to a past that perhaps never actually existed.
These days I need all the centering and prayer and centering prayer I can get. And sometimes it may seem like the only thing we can do about some situations is pray about them, even as we work to live into those prayers. What about you?
Okay, so I admit, sometimes I have thought this book, Justice in the Burbs, has been a little less of a heavyweight when it comes to talking about real issues of justice. However,
All of us exist in a series of relationships that are bound together by common interests and common life decisions. We all come from families that trained us to think in certain ways. We join churches or synagogues or other faith communities that worship or think about questions of God the way we do. We participate in organizations that seek to accomplish the things we currently care about. We vote for candidates we believe hold to our common interests and will shape the culture to moves in the direction of our shared desires for the world.
If you start asking questions about those common interests and desires, as well as the structures that flow from those commonalities, you can expect opposition, frustration, and counterquestions from those who are often the closest to you. These are people with whom you share a wealth of experiences. This will be particularly true if you begin to realize that the systems in which you have participated are not neutral and deeply affect whether the world is more just. (p. 115)
I have personally experienced some of this opposition, frustration, and these counterquestions – not always from those who are closest to me, but from family and friends. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I am always a fan of people exploring and learning through curiosity and questioning. Also, people of relative privilege such as myself, if we are to truly walk in justice, need to get used to taking some heat because the fight for justice – and make no mistake, it is a fight – is not without heat.
Have you had to “take heat” for a viewpoint of yours that falls outside of a societally-accepted narrative? How did / do / will you handle the situation?
Check the Think! Pray! Act! calendar for ideas and things to do.
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world!
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.
“Family Separations: A Word to the Church.” Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), n.d. https://disciples.org/resources/justice/immigration/family-separations/.
“Reclaiming Jesus.” 17 January 2017. http://reclaimingjesus.org/home.
Almada, Samuel E. “Ezekiel 1-39.” Pages 273–84 in Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.
Broockman, David, and Joshua Kalla. “Durably Reducing Transphobia: A Field Experiment on Door-to-Door Canvassing.” Science 352.6282 (2016): 220–24. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6282/220.
Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015.
Digital Theological Library. “Open Access Digital Theological Library | a Virtual Library for Theology, Religious Studies, and Related Disciplines.” Open Access Digital Theological Library, n.d. http://oadtl.org/.
Hood, Cameron. “The Brain-Tingling Sounds of ASMR.” The New Yorker, 31 May 2018. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-brain-tingling-sounds-of-asmr.
Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen. “How to Sustain Your Activism.” Greater Good, 13 March 2017. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_sustain_your_activism.
Nysse, Richard W. “Old Testament: Lamentations.” Enter the Bible, n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/oldtestament.aspx?rid=45.
Padgett, Alan. “Old Testament: Ezekiel.” Enter the Bible, n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/oldtestament.aspx?rid=46.
Samson, Will and Lisa. Justice in the Burbs: Being the Hands of God Wherever You Live. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005.
Society of Biblical Literature. “Bible Odyssey,” n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.com/.
Tea, Kristen. “To My Friends Who Are Sick Of Politics.” MotherWise, 15 August 2017. https://motherwiselife.org/to-my-friends-who-are-sick-of-politics/.