Transforming Life’s Roadside

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A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question
the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.
On the one hand, we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside;
but that will be only an initial act.
One day the whole Jericho road must be transformed
so that men and women will not be beaten and robbed
as they make their journey through life.
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar;
it understands that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world,
can well lead the way in this revolution of values.
There is nothing, except a tragic death wish,
to prevent us from reordering our priorities…

~Martin Luther King, Jr. from a speech April 4, 1967

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We live in a time where the groaning need

and dividedness of humankind
is especially to be felt and recognized.
Countless people are subjected to hatred,
violence and oppression which go unchecked.
The injustice and corruption which exist today
are causing many voices to be raised to protest
and cry out that something be done.
Many men and women are being moved to sacrifice much
in the struggle for justice, freedom, and peace.
There is a movement afoot in our time,
a movement which is growing, awakening.

We must recognize that we as individuals are to blame
for every social injustice,
every oppression,
the downgrading of others
and the injury that man does to man,
whether personal or on a broader plane.…
God must intervene with his spirit and his justice and his truth.
The present misery, need, and decay must pass away
and the new day of the Son of Man must dawn.
This is the advent of God’s coming.
~Dwight Blough from the introduction to When the Time was Fulfilled (1965)

 

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I weep to see such bitter divisions still exist in our country,
an echo of fifty years ago
as we failed to learn from past errors.
Here we are again, groaning divided once more,
ignited by two Presidential candidates
whose voices and histories jar,
whose egos thwart ethics and the law,
whose values do not represent
freedom and justice for all.

As we walk this Jericho Road together,
we cannot pass by our brother, our sister, our child
who lies dying in the ditch.
We must stop and help.

It could be you or me there bleeding, beaten, abandoned
until Someone took our place
so we can get up and walk Home.

Maranatha.

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5 thoughts on “Transforming Life’s Roadside

  1. “The only achievement that the progressive movement has failed to accomplish is progress.” Fifty years ago the traditions that made America honorable were slowly marginalized until they were despised. There wasn’t much for politicians to distinguish one from the other than one party was for the working man, and the other business. Blue collar/white collar workers. But, American workers none the less. Through it all our respect and advocacy for moral character was intact.
    While on the road to progress, we must be certain not to leave the best of who we are behind.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Thank you’ is a seemingly small way to acknowledge and to value the comments made by Dwight Blough, Martin Luther King, Jr. and our own daily ministerial chronicler, Emily Polis Gibson.

    What each commenter has reminded us here today are hard, convicting words for each of us to read and to ponder prayerfully in our hearts and souls — particularly for Christians and all peoples who express a faith in God, by whatever name they give that god.- Creator of the Universe and every living thing, human and all other species of life on earth, extant and deceased, a God who watches over us, walks with us, unseen but as promised – and a God who also has promised that when our journey here on earth ends, He will welcome us into His eternal Kingdom.

    All He asks of us is that we love Him and respect and care for all that He has created. He has specifically admonished us —through His Incarnate Son, Jesus, to love and to care for each other, to respect ALL human life, born and unborn, at all ages — no exceptions, no excuses accepted – especially for those who, for whatever reason, are unable to care for themselves and who are suffering because they are, or appear to be, ‘different’ from us and, as a result, are innocent victims of racism, hatred, sexism, poverty, injustices, wars to achieve hegemony and to plunder nations’ resources, resulting in economic and social inequality….

    In the past few decades we have witnessed six or more wars involving our nation alone, appalling loss of life through genocide, abortion, euthanasia, our environment being ravaged, despoiled, and dangerously close to being incapable of supporting life of any kind in more and more areas, near to the point of no return or reconstruction. We have witnessed societal degradation through gross immorality and total disregard and muting of once-held values and respect for each other. In our own nation, we are witnessing legislative and court dissolution and stripping of our constitutionally-protected freedoms. Our elective process at all levels has been reduced to greed, graft, slander, vicious diatribes and lies, sickening immorality to the point of pornography played out incessantly via our electronic and print media.

    And….it continues to this day, this hour, unabated and seemingly unstoppable. We must, together, do all within our power to stanch this evil which, combined with all the forces of darkness, will end our civilization as we know and enjoy it. Our children, grandchildren, and future generations will have no chance, no beginnings….

    Our, unceasing, united prayer should echo what Emily has written:
    ‘Maranatha,’
    (Come, Lord Jesus.)

    Like

  3. as always, Alice, I immerse myself in your wisdom — you have lived through more decades of injustice and unrest and understand this even better than I can. I join in your/our prayer.

    love, Emily

    Like

  4. Beautiful…. your post and perspective. I look forward to your post always. Today I drink it in, my soul weary of all that led us to this place in history – not just in our country, but globally. I remind myself He sees, hears. And join in the cry… not for ‘my’ outcome, but His purposes. Oh, amen, amen… “Our, unceasing, united prayer should echo what Emily has written:
    ‘Maranatha,’”

    Liked by 1 person

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