Does anyone remember the tv series "Hill Street Blues"? At shift change, the sergeant ended each briefing before sending police out on their assignments with the words "be careful out there". In his voice and in this command was a true expression of concern for his police force, and acknowledgement that danger exists in the world they, now called first responders, were entering.
My website and blogs are not intended to enter the political realm.
I started a website to offer my art to a wider audience rather than just those who go to a gallery. Facebook is the vehicle to promote my website, no more. But, reading recent facebook comments I can't help but see a much more sinister tone of defiance (of the law and social order), a societal posture of "us versus them", and an uneasy implied approval of physical force to accomplish a political end.
Do you see that too? Does it concern you?
If so, I'd encourage users of facebook or twitter to not feed the anger and division by forwarding or even commenting on those posts that challenge peace. Rather, take a breath, reread the post that incites your response, consider if the source really reflects opinions that you know are those of your friend/acquaintance, or if they seem likely fabricated by a source intent on stirring hate and discontent in America. Then, if you must, post your response prayerfully and thoughtfully. Consider the reaction you hope for.
These times and conditions are not what we knew only a month ago. "Mob mentality" dominates much social discourse. Your words do matter! Remember to be careful out there.
In Prague, in the mid 1400's, a deal was struck to end a costly war in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). Hussites, who wanted reformation within the Catholic Church, had successfully withstood five crusades intended to demoralize and destroy them.
Prague was and is a city filled with religious architectural marvels and this church with towering spires is admittedly one of it's most impressive. To quell the spirits of the meddlesome Hussite protestants, the Church of Rome instituted what was called the Utraquist Church which met some of their demands and this church building was offered as a centerpiece of the compromise, Not quite Catholic, nor Protestant, no one was fully satisfied with that arrangement .
This piece of artwork announces another blog tracing the history of the Moravian Church. However, rather than featuring a conversation with one of the "pre-reformation" leaders, this conversation is with Pope Alexander VI.
To say Pope Alexander did not approve of the protestants in Bohemia is an understatement! This blog, found by typing "BCM Spotlight Blog" on google, is my imaginative attempt to offer"the other side" of the story. My spotlight blog is scheduled to be published April 18. 'Hope I've raised your curiosity.
Celebration of Lent this year certainly has to be chalked up as "different". Social distancing means the familiar traditions which typically expect the physical gathering of "two or more" is simply not going to happen. No Palms waving in unison with the music of majesty, no holy communion on Maundy Thursday, no Easter sunrise with all it's glory.
But being alone does not, should not, necessarily mean loneliness. It is important to remember that the church building is not essential to our faith, nor the traditions we anticipate and celebrate together. What is essential is the love of our Creator, the assurance of salvation as promised by our Lord, and the continuing presence of a Holy Spirit that can be found in every breathe we take, every thought we harbor, every song we sing, every word we speak.
It's nice to offer or receive a hug, or to hold a hand in friendship or in prayer, but not essential. Even facebook and the internet are bursting with new suggestions to glorify God. Listen, and let His name be praised!