Today is the day on which people in the U.S. consume more food and alcohol than on any day except Thanksgiving. Celebration. Getting together with friends. Being reminded of all that unites us and draws us together… Embracing commercials and commercialism. Bread and circuses are entertaining, and fill you for a little while.
Today in Syria the bombs still fall.
And today in Guatemala… the maras.
And today in Yemen… drone strikes.
And today in Nigeria… Boko Haram.
And today in New York City… #blacklivesmatter
And today in Paris… the 19th arrondissement.
And today in Englewood… Hamilton Park.
And today in Kolkata… Songachi.
And today in Rio… Complexo do Alemao.
And today in Freetown… Kroo Bay.
And today in my neighborhood…
Alcohol abuse. Violence against women. Isolation. Systemic violence. Oppression. Marginalization. Oppression. Depression. The search for meaning. Hopelessness. Apathy. Exhaustion.
And into this world we wade – committed to doing the hard work of love, of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of listening, of sharing, of connecting, of reaching out, of listening to those we want to ignore, of avoiding simplistic narratives and attempts to other…
“There is something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.” ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We look for beauty. We notice the image of God in all people. And we search for God in all things. In the darkness… and in the spotlights… with trust that if we keep looking for God, God will find us. And maybe we will find that God has already found us, even before the looking began.
A Prayer for Super Bowl Sunday
~ Walter Brueggemann
The world of fast money,
and loud talk,
and much hype is upon us.
We praise huge men whose names will linger only briefly.
We will eat and drink,
and gamble and laugh,
and cheer and hiss,
and marvel and then yawn.
We show up, most of us, for such a circus,
and such an indulgence.
Loud clashing bodies,
violence within rules,
and money and merchandise and music.
And you – today like every day –
you govern and watch and summon;
you glad when there is joy in the earth,
But you notice our liturgies of disregard and
our litanies of selves made too big,
our fascination with machismo power,
and lust for bodies and for big bucks.
And around you gather today, as every day,
elsewhere uninvited, but noticed by you,
those disabled and gone feeble,
those alone and failed,
those uninvited and shamed.
And you whose gift is more than “super,”
overflowing, abundant, adequate, all sufficient.
The day of preoccupation with creature comforts writ large.
We pause to be mindful of our creatureliness,
our commonality with all that is small and vulnerable exposed,
your creatures called to obedience and praise.
Give us some distance from the noise,
some reserve about the loud success of the day,
that we may remember that our life consists
not in things we consume
but in neighbors we embrace.
Be our good neighbor that we may practice
your neighborly generosity all through our needy neighborhood.