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"Where to Start?"

I have not written a blog in quite a while. Pastors are expected to have an opinion about everything, and sometimes I don't. Other times we may try to address issues or topics and fail to grasp all aspects of the situation - mea culpa. So, apart from the teaching and preaching that is the pastoral zone, there are times to sit down and shut up. The late summer has been abuzz with startling news - Charlottesville, North Korea, hurricanes in the east and fires in the west, the usual (or unusual) D.C. drama, racial strife in St. Louis, gang murders and heroin overdoses in Louisville.

We may respond to all of this uproar with more uproar of our own. In fact, we may delight in it. Nothing like a good tantrum. (Talking to myself, you understand.) Protest and even physical intervention can at times be the way to go. A friend is fond of asking, "How hard do you push the kid who is about to be hit by a bus?" And yet... A lot of this uproar can be like yelling at your teenager - it happens, but it may not help. So, where to start? The Christian contemplative tradition says start with yourself. Work on you. (Here is a secret - you really cannot work on anyone else.) The beautiful little Christian hymn in Philippians says that Christ emptied himself, taking the form of a servant - and that this is the mindset we should seek. Right action will follow.

The Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion on Hubbards Lane is sponsoring a 24-Hour Vigil for Non-violence, beginning Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30 p.m. Various faith leaders, including myself, have been asked to host an hour of readings and meditation. I am hosting the 4-5 p.m. time slot on Wednesday, September 27. I invite you to attend, or to take a slice of time within that 24 hours to meditate and pray with us. Action? Yes. Prayer first.

Christ's Peace, Greg

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