Cry of My Heart 06/09/2020

Hello Friends,

Psalm 130: 6 says,

“…my soul waits for the Lord
    more than those who watch for the morning,
    more than those who watch for the morning.”

 

Why do you suppose the psalmist repeated that phrase?
I’m guessing to put added emphasis on the watching for morning.

 

In ancient Israel there were guards who stand watch over the city walls by night. Imagine how dark it would have been.  There were no floodlights, no motion detection security lights and definitely no flashlights on a cell phone. 

Yes, there would be torches or perhaps oil lamps, but these would only light the area in close proximity to the light.  A nighttime sentinel would not have been able to see what was happening in the distance.

 

I imagine the long nights of standing watch were sometimes boring, with the sentinel trying to stay awake.  Other nights they were frightening as enemies tried to storm the city walls.  There may have been wild animals that tried to attack the guards.

 

My soul waits for the Lord.

Those sentinels knew what it was to wait for the Lord, the same way the watched and waited for the morning to come.

 

Spend some time thinking about this verse.

How is your soul watching for the morning?
What does the morning look like in the work of anti-racism?

What does the morning look like when you are facing person difficulties?

 

 

Click on the link below to hear and see Psalm 130.

Psalm 130


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Cry of My Heart 06.05.2020

Tonight’s meditation is called “Violence and Travail”.
It is an Advent piece, but it fits very well with how our hearts are crying out.
May we be reminded that Christ has come, and Christ will come again.
 

Violence and Travail


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Cry of My Heart – 06.04.2020

 
 
Psalm 70 is a prayer for deliverance from one’s enemies.
 
Click on the link to listen to this psalm of lament.
Pay attention to the way the psalm ends.  
The ending gives you a hint about how the entire book of psalms is structured.
The ending is “You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!”  
It is a reminder that even though we are in despair for a moment, God will deliver us.

Psalm 70


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Cry of My Heart – 06.03.2020

 
Jesus was a man steeped in the psalms.
They shaped how he worshipped and how he prayed.
 
Today’s reading is Psalm 22.
This the psalm that Jesus recited to himself when he was in agony on the cross.
 
As you hear this psalm tonight, may you hear the voices of all those who cry out today because they feel that God has abandoned them. These could be the cries of black and browned skin people who for decade after decade have been subjected to systemic racism and abuse.
 

Psalm 22


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Cry of My Heart 06.02.2020

All this week we are focusing on Psalms of lament.
These prayers can be about one individual’s lament,
or it can be the lament of entire community.
 
This week, as our city is in a week of deep lament,
let’s allow the words of the psalms to speak for themselves.
Today’s Psalm is Psalm 17. Click on the link to hear the psalm.
 

Psalm 17 – a psalm of individual lament


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Cry of My Heart 06.01.2020

Lament.

These are psalms in which we cry out to God with all of our pain.
And, oh my, how we have been crying out.
We cry out for brown and black skinned children of God who are constantly on guard and in danger of being killed or injured for driving while black, shopping while brown, jogging while black……being arrested while black.
 
Please take time to listen to this powerful moment from worship on Sunday.
The song is “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” and the readings are from Psalm 13:1-3 and Psalm 22:1-2. Click on the link below.
 

Psalms of Lament

 
 

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God is with Us! Here’s to the misfits! 05.20.2020

Hello Friends,
Minnesota’s “Stay-at-Home” order went into effect on March 27, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
For seven weeks now we have experienced some of the very best in humanity in responding to the Corona virus precautions.  Sadly, we have also seen some of the worst in humanity.
 
A restaurant owner, who has been working in the industry for more than three decades, said the the patrons on Mother’s Day were the most difficult he has ever had.   There was no empathy for the workers who were swamped and trying to get the orders out.  Customers were rude and one person almost became violent. There was just a whole lot of privilege.  “I want my pancakes and I want them right now.”
 
I understand that people are anxious and feeling cooped up.  But contrast the restaurant owner’s experience with the stories Lorrie Sandelin shares from the clients of the Joyce Uptown Food Shelf.  Every week Lorrie meets clients who are in tears because they are so grateful for the food.  Last week she received cards hand drawn by children who received food, expressing their thanks.
 
Who will you be during this pandemic?  Will you be the crabby pancake guy, or the filled-with-gratitude person?
 
Make this the day to choose to be extra kind, extra patient, extra loving and extra generous.  
 
Here’s to the Crazy Ones, by Rob Siltanen
Here’s to the crazy ones.  
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.  
The ones who see things differently. 
They’re not fond of rules.  
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. 
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, 
are the ones who do.

Galatians 6:9
So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

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God is with Us! Manifesto: the Mad Farmer Liberation Front, a poem by Wendell Berry

Practice Resurrection my friends, practice resurrection.
 
I love the idea that resurrection is not just an event that took place 2000 years ago.  Resurrection is a verb, it is an action.  It is something we do.
 
We practice resurrection when we offer kindness instead of criticism, hope instead of despair, justice instead of the staus quo. 
We practice resurrection when we donate to the Joyce Uptown Foodshelf. 
We practice resurrection when we choose to wear a mask to protect those who are vulnerable to the Corona virus.
We practice resurrection when we check on our neighbors and the person who lives alone.
We practice resurrection when we perform random acts of kindness.
 
Spend some time with the words of poet Wendell Berry.  Click on the link to hear his poem.
 
How will you practice resurrection today?
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

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Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III | The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery

Friends,
This video is 22 minutes long and well worth every minute.
The speaker is Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III, pastor of Trinity Church Chicago.
 
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

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God is with Us! The Dorsey Family 05.17.2020

Tonight’s devotion is a word of encouragement from the Dorsey family.  Kamaria created this video for a class.  Her assignment was to create a public service announcement related.  Kamaria’s encourages us to be “Stronger Together”!
 
Click on the link below to see her video.
 
 
Thanks Kamaria! We are proud of you and very thankful for you!
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

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