Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Bible and protest

from w
Two of the Bible readings for today in the general lectionary used by many churches in the world have important ideas that require our attention. There is always a difficulty for me about protest although I've been in some - peace marches, against atomic testing, against super-size bridges and buildings in our city, etc. When I see what is happening in Egypt at present I wonder what motivates people to march. A desperation, a real need to agitate, a hunger for a better world, for justice. I really admire courageous people who are non-violent in their protest like the gracious lady in Burma. Today it seems that what may start as a peaceful protest soon turns into something violent.

I still hark back to the 60s and the protest songs we used to sing, and I taught to the students in Dudley High School. This afternoon I watched an interesting TV program on the life of Joan Baez. 'Them were the days!' you might say.

Anyway here are two modern translations of parts of today's Bible readings used in the Uniting Church and several other churches.

from Micah 6: 1-8

Open your ears, for this is what the LORD has to say:
If you have got a complaint, stand up and let it be heard;
........let the mountains and hills be your witnesses.

……..

Come on people! God has told us what is good.
........We know what the LORD wants from us:
To make sure everybody gets a fair go;
To be passionate about caring for others;
And to stay on track with God without getting full of ourselves.

Matthew 5: 1-12

Jesus found himself increasingly surrounded by crowds of people, so one day he headed off up the mountain. He sat down up there and his committed followers gathered around to hear what he had to say. This is what he taught them:
“Those who depend entirely on God for their welfare
........have got it made,
................because the whole realm of heaven belongs to them.

“Those who are stricken with grief
........have got it made,
................because they will receive the ultimate comfort.

“Those who allow others first claim on everything
........have got it made,
................because the whole world will be given to them.

“Those who hunger and thirst to see the world put right
........have got it made,
................because they will be richly satisfied.

“Those who readily treat others better than they deserve
........have got it made,
................because they will be treated with extravagant mercy.

“Those whose hearts are unpolluted
........have got it made,
................because they will see God.

“Those who forge peace and reconciliation in places of hostility
........have got it made,
................because they will be known as God’s own children.

“Those who are attacked and abused for sticking to what is right
........have got it made,
................because the whole realm of heaven belongs to them.

“When people turn on you
........and do all they can to make your life a misery;
when they make false allegations about you
........and drag your name through the mud,
all because of your association with me,
........you have really got it made!
Kick up your heels and party,
........because heaven is coming
................and you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams!
You are in great company
........because they were just as vicious
................to God’s faithful messengers in the past.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net - a Baptist community in Melbourne.

1 comment:

Shonda said...

The dude is completely just, and there is no suspicion.