A Sonnet on the Ceaseless Hum

Oh the ceaseless hum, the susurrus song
Of the world that lives only in my head
How I envy those who live in silence
And have that deep quiet for which I long

What do they hear, I ask with jealousy
As my private murmuring thoughts persist
What do I miss, I worry, every day
As insistent words fill my fantasy

If God is found in silence, I am lost
Forever doomed to my own noisy hell
Meditation, contemplation mere words
Like jetsam overthrown and tempest tossed

Stop it! Give up this popular belief
By words I calm my storms and feel relief

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Based on Readings for 17 November 2018

From 3 John 5-8
Beloved, let us be faithful in all we do for our sisters and brothers,
especially for the abused, the silenced, the outcast,
And those who are strangers in a strange land;
that they may experience our love.
Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.
For they have set out for the sake of the Name
Of our God of Justice and Wisdom
and are receiving nothing from the abusers and deceivers,
From the arrogant and privileged.
Therefore, we ought to support such persons,
so that we may be co-workers in the truth of our God of love.

From Luke 18: 1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
Jesus said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.'”

What might we learn from this parable?
Here’s how we can understand
What God’s chosen one said about this parable:
Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
If even a dishonest judge yields to persistent demands for justice,
How much more surely and swiftly
Will God secure the rights of his loved ones,
Who have been abused, silenced, cast out and denied justice.
The injustices done to them call out to God day and night.
Will God not answer them?
I tell you, God will see to it that justice is done for them surely.
But when God looks to us,
Will God find that we were persistent
In our faith and cooperation with those who seek justice here on earth?”

On Reading Luke 17: 11-19

Ten lepers
Scabrous, diseased, disgusting
More than dirty – unclean
Cried to a holy man
“Yeshua, Rabbi!
Have pity on us”
Not on me
But on us
Have pity.

And this Yeshua
What did he do?
He sent them away
Go, he said
I am not a priest, he said
Get thee to a priest.

And they went
All ten of them
To find a priest
Though what good they expected
Of that
Is not clear to us
Or, probably, likely
To them.

But as they went
His pity found them
Sores disappeared
Ugliness was no more
They were still dirty
But no longer unclean.

Ten lepers cried for mercy
Ten lepers went to seek a priest
Ten lepers were healed.

One leper returned
Only one
And he
(Do we know for sure he
Could it have been she?)
This leper, he or she
Was less than leper
A foreigner
Stranger in a strange land.

This leper
Recognizing whence the healing
Returned
Praising the God of the Jews
And thanking Yeshua.

Ten lepers
Receiving his pity
Were healed.

One leper
Receiving his grace
Was saved.

So we are told.

Were the nine satisfied?
Happy?
Was life, whole and healed
Enough
Without eternity?

We are not told.

Adaptation of Titus 3:1-7

Here is how I have come to understand today’s reading from Titus 3:1-7

Beloved:
We are reminded to be wise in challenging the control of authorities,
whether civil or religious.
Ordinarily, we are called to be obedient,
but we are equally called to be open to every good enterprise.
When it is necessary to challenge authority,
then, as in all our dealings with others,
we must slander no one, be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
We need to humbly remember that we ourselves
can be foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures.
Let us do our best, prayerfully, to avoid living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.

For by the kindness and generous love
of God our Mother, Father and Savior –
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of God’s mercy –
we are saved, reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit of Wisdom,
richly poured out on us
through our gracious saving God,
so that we are justified by God’s grace
and heirs to eternal life.

Adaptation of Titus 2:1-8, 11-14

How do I understand the second chapter of Titus? This was my meditation challenge from today’s reading. And I think I found the answer in these words of Paul’s to Titus, explaining that Paul’s purpose in writing was to guide them in how “to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age.” (Titus 2:12). And so, guided by Lady Wisdom, I dare to suggest what this might look like “in this age.”

Beloved:
This is consistent with sound doctrine:
that older men and women should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance,
reverent in their behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good,
so that they may train younger men and women
to love their partners and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste,
Cooperating in making good homes,
under the control of their love for each other,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men and women, similarly, to control themselves.
Those who would teach them and guide them must
show themselves as models of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in their teaching, dignity, and sound speech
so that no opponent will have anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God,
who is our Father, Mother and Savior,
who delivered us from all lawlessness
so that we may be God’s own people,
eager to do what is good.

Based on Titus 1:1-9

This morning, as I meditated on the first nine verses of Paul’s letter to Titus, I imagined what I might write, were Lady Wisdom gracious enough to bless my humble service:

We, free women of God, our Lady Wisdom, and sisters of Jesus Christ
For the sake of the faith of God’s ignored ones
For the recognition of Her eternal truth
In the hope of Her eternal love –
The love that God, our gracious Lady Wisdom who is always truthful, promised before time began
Who through all time reveals Her word, though it be not spoken or written
In the proclamation of which, lately, we women are entrusted
By the command of God, our Wisdom and our Savior
To all our sisters and brothers of faith
Grace and peace from God our Mother and Jesus Christ our brother.

For this reason we are hearing the words of our Mother
Wherever we are, wherever we worship
So that we might set right what needs to be corrected.

Those who serve our needs of faith
Those who worship with us
Need not be blameless
Need not be married only once
Need not have perfect children
Need not be men
But, to serve as Lady Wisdom’s stewards
Must not be arrogant
Nor overly irritable
Nor abusers of themselves or others
Nor aggressive
Nor greedy for their own gain and pleasure
Those who serve as stewards for our Lady Wisdom
Must be hospitable, lovers of goodness, temperate
Striving always for justice, for holiness, for self-control
And must try, to the best of their ability
To hold fast to the true message
Though it has become more ignored than taught
So that they will be able to see themselves clearly,
To admonish others charitably and truthfully,
And to rebuke and reject narrow-minded arrogance
In interpreting the word of Wisdom.