Decency and Democracy Under Attack

It is almost unthinkable that Roy Moore, a candidate campaigning to represent the state of Alabama in the U.S. Senate and who has admitted that as an adult he engaged in relations with minors, has a chance of winning the highly contested Alabama Senate race.
Defenders of Moore’s participation in the race coupled with suggestions that some in the Trump administration colluded with the Russian government to destroy our democracy by influencing the outcome of U.S. elections is frightening and disheartening. The country appears to be sliding rapidly down a moral political slope. Under the Trump administration, on nearly every level imaginable, decency and traditional values are eroding.
There is Donald Trump spewing discord and division instead of unity. In place of upholding Democracy, Trump appears to be trying to turn America into a fascist state. He uses his office to attempt to control what news gets published by attacking the free press. He also uses his office to try and destroy the careers of those who oppose him publicly or who express political views counter to his.
Instead of working to affect the common good, Trump seems bent on making life difficult for working class Americans. His lack of good judgement and integrity are evidenced by  his comparison of those who advocate justice for all to white supremacy advocates, and by his support of Roy Moore’s candidacy.
Moore’s involvement in the Alabama Senate race has nothing to do with the political party on whose ticket he is running and everything to do with a sick old man who should lose the election because Americans care about decency. Roy Moore’s demonstrated behavior:  an old, powerful man who dated teenage girls is every bit as reprehensible as the actions of Warren Jessup’s (former leader of a religious group and convicted rapist).
God, help us and shame on those determined to send a sick man to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

2017 Advent Season Week 1 – Hope

Week 1 of the 2017 Christian Advent Season is ending. The theme – Hope – focuses on the  possibilities embodied in the Messiah.  Those possibilities inspire optimism. The Messiah’s arrival:
• encourages and empowers the oppressed;
• critiques oppressors and gives them room for repentance;

• lifts up the least of us;
• delivers from the burden, consequences, and power of sin;
• makes possible reconciliation between humankind and God, their Creator;
• redefines the term “family;”
• challenges the legitimacy of corrupt institutions and systems;
• affirms the value of all humankind;
• promises redemption, regeneration and resurrection of all that is useful and valuable;
• demonstrates godliness- unconditional love, peaceable living, forgiveness, empathy, unselfishness, and generosity.
The previous list highlights why Advent is both festive and somber. It is the celebration of the possibilities that Christ’s birth provides. It also causes believers to bow in reverent humility when they, self included, comprehend the God’s great love for creation. Like the psalmist we are compelled to sing out:

Psalm 8 (New Living Translation)
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, by
silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned theme with glory and honor.
6  You gave them [responsible for taking care of ] everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

a 8: title Hebrew according to the gittith.
b 8:2 Greek version reads to give you praise. Compare Matt 21:16.
c 8:4 Hebrew what is man that you should think of him, / the son of man that you should care for him?
d 8:5a Or Yet you made them only a little lower than the angels; Hebrew reads Yet you made him [i.e., man] a little lower than Elohim.
e 8:5b Hebrew him [i.e., man]; similarly in 8:6.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.
All Rights Reserved.

Happy Advent!!!



First Sunday in Advent 2017, A Morning Prayer

Dear God, glory to your name!

We acknowledge you as Creator, Redeemer, and sustainer of life.

In your mercy hear the prayers of your people.

Forgive our sins and grant us the strength and wisdom to resist and overcome concerted and sustained attacks.

Heal our wounds and restore us to wholeness.

Open our hearts to share our material wealth and talents.

Remind us that time is a gift; help us wisely use it to your glory.

Create in each of us a clean heart and renewed spirit that seeks only to glorify you.

Restore to us the joy of your salvation.

To that end, send a spiritual revival.

Help us live in such a way that others come to believe: Jesus is the only reason for the Christmas Season.

In His name we pray, amen!