Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Seventeenth Day in Lent: A great and radical reversal

Good conversation with Tracy. Winning the release of two of the arrested workers in a good thing. The third remains under threat of deportation. And there remain the big picture issues around how amnesty or legalization for a certain percentage would lead to criminalization for others. How documented workers need to grow in thier undstanding of how discrimination against undocumented only lowers the value of thei own labor. It’s not about protecting American jobs, it’s about a global economy and the shared interest of workers across borders. 
I introduce Tracy to Teddy and Steve. I continue to work on linking the anti-sweatshop organizers with #ows organizers. Get the anti-sweatshop folks involved in the M17/18 actions. The hunger issue, the exploitation of immigrants issues, are right in line with the solemn march being planned for Saturday.
Ted and Marsha have come and continue to work on budgets for both the congregation and Center. It looks like we might have something that is actually achievable. Not easy, but possible. 
We gather for Bible Study. It’s a good group, including a visitor who was in worship on Sunday and Rev. Brenda Berry from the Bronx. She’s also part of Presbytery’s Committee on Nurture of Congregations, a group we felt received us well and understands what we are trying to do. I’m sharing something new I've learned. 
John H had approached me about scheduling the Dark Lady Players for a production on March 25th,  the Feast of the Anunciation. Realized that was one I hadn’t been aware of. A little research told me that for centuries, the Eastern Church, the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches celebrate this day, nine months before Christmas. For the Orthidox, it actually marks the beginning of the Incarnation. And so, even though it seems to fit better in Advent, we study Luke 1:26-38.
We read about the visit of the angel Gabriel. Literary echoes of Sinai and Pentecost. The same story in the Quran. One way or another, Luke wants us to see this as special, even as a beginning of a new creation.  But we wind up with the words of the Magnificat, 
almost a paraphrase of Sarah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Both have this promise of a great and radical reversal, but with one difference, in Mary’s song, she proclaims that it is already accomplished....
He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts;
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the holy;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
And there is interest that such strong prophetic words were spoken by women. And Pastor Berry brings up the prophet Anna who appears in the Temple at the time of the song of Simeon, the Nunc Dimittis. Our study closes with plans to come back next week for St.Joseph's Day. 
On the way home, I run into Teddy. Catch up on his day. It’s dark. And warm. A good night. 

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