Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thank God It's Sunday!

[This is the second Thank God it's Sunday entry I wrote on August 21, in Portland OR.]

All these streams trying to pour into the River Almighty! Which streams get dammed? I can't say for sure, but until each one gets to where he'll end up, if God works through people, then he has to make do with what he's got. 

Suppose someone has an alcohol addiction, and through this,  he's going to come to the point where he realizes his need for a Higher PowerAlcoholism falls across a wide, wide spectrum of political persuasions.  An alcoholic bigot might not be able to accept help from a Higher Power representative who sees his bigotry, rather than his alcoholism, as his primary problem. And maybe it's not. 

Likewise, an alcoholic who  takes social injustice seriously (maybe too seriously -- that's what drove him to drink) may not be able to tolerate supportive friendship from a Trump supporter, but he'll take it from someone whose political and spiritual ideology the fundamentalist might consider dodgy.

"Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."  

How pure does the water in your well need to be, before you feel worthy to give someone a drink from it? 
***

We were in Powell's bookstore in downtown Portland this afternoon.  For a fleeting few seconds, in the midst of all those words, words, words, I thought, "Why does the world need any more writing?"  What a silly thought! Thirst is new every morning, and so there are millions of pots of coffee brewing, mountains of oranges being juiced with every sunrise. So it is with the thirst for wisdom or the balm of humor or whatever the  tragedy du jour requires. Over and over, the words roll on and on, because they need to roll.

Last night, with the Columbia River rolling on nearby, I fell asleep, with the words from a Woodie Guthrie song on my mind. Roll on, Columbia. Roll on. Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...

And this morning I heard this at the church we visited. (When we travel, Mr. Athena picks them based on the size of their organs. In Portland, that means Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.) 
"A reading from the book of Isaiah: ... if you satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom will be like noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places... (Isaiah 58)"

And here's where I turn my ongoing meditation on The Lord's Prayer and the Shepherd's Psalm into a PREZI PRESENTATION, by making the section I'm focusing on POP out from the rest of the text.  


Our Father who art in heaven          The LORD
Hallowed be thy name.


Thy kingdom come,        
Thy will be done            is my shepherd:
On earth 
as it is in Heaven.


Give us this day   
             I shall not want. He  maketh me
our daily bread to lie down in green pastures:
                     he leadeth me beside the                             still waters.


And forgive us our sins         He restoreth my soul:
as we forgive those                               he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 
who sin against us.                  for his name's sake.


And lead us not         Yea, though I walk through 
into temptation              the valley of the shadow of death,       
but deliver us from evil.   I will fear no evil: 
                                               for thou art with me; 
                                                  thy rod and thy staff 
                                               they comfort me.
  .                      Thou preparest a table before me
                                       in the presence of mine enemies: 
                                thou anointest my head with oil;
                                                my cup runneth over. {wow!} 
                        Surely goodness and mercy
                                  shall follow me

For thine is the Kingdom,                 all the days of my life: and I will dwell
and the Power,                          in the house                  
and the Glory                          of the Lord
Now and forever.                        for ever.


"ROLL ON COLUMBIA, ROLL ON, ROLL ON, COLUMBIA! YOUR POWER IS TURNING OUR DARKNESS TO DAWN, ROLL ON COLUMBIA, ROLL ON!"

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