Tuesday, September 19, 2006

From Oppression and Violence He Redeems Their Life!

Today I read Psalm 95. I love reading the Psalms just as I would read a Billy Collins poem or Gwendolyn Brooks or Mark Strand. I read it out loud in my mind, uttering every syllable with my imagination's tongue. At first, the poem is a bit patriotic, and I'm not a particularly patriotic person (that may be an understatement). But it is not a patriotic poem. It is a poem that identifies foundational characteristic traits of God to a new king perhaps during an inauguration.

Isn't that interesting how I began the post waxing about how I read poetry and then went into some sort of explanation. Now, as I back-peddle this tricycle, I have to bring up something else entirely. Eugene Peterson, in his book Under the Unpredictable Plant, writes about the poet Czeslaw Milosz and his understanding of imagination. Peterson paraphrasing Milosz writes, "The minds of Americans have been dangerously diluted by the rationalism of explanation." With that explained, you know why I wrote from imagination into explanation in the above paragraph. Nice.

Back to Psalm 75. As I read this poem, I couldn't help but think of the massive numbers of people in this world dying without clean drinking water, any food, or of AIDS. Numbers in the thousand-millions. But the Psalm states very clearly of God:

"For he delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight."

If we are truly the embodiment of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, should we not act on this? Too long have we as Christians allowed modernity to force us into contentment with Jesus as our spiritual savior. I happen to believe that when the Risen Lord comes to town, things get better. I happen to believe that "from oppression and violence God redeems their life!" What are we doing about it. I also believe that freedom from oppression and violence can only come through the cross of Christ. Here are a few ways you can help.

Go here for the One Campaign.

Go here to Save Darfur.

Go here to Heifer International.

Go here to sponsor a child.

Heifer International works to help folks in rural areas around the world become more self-sufficient. This year our Kid's Church offering will go to this event. I will be encouraging them to give more than they normally would. Just before Christmas, the fifth and sixth graders will get together to decide how to spend the money raised in the "Best Gift Catalog in the World."


Monty said...

Milosz is the greatest of all time. He was a wonderful poet, philosopher, and of course, linguist.

Junior said...

God los ayude! God = King of Kings!

jason said...

A thoughtful post and one that deals with an issue close to my heart. If any of your readers want to take another step in helping especially in stopping the violence in Darfur. Visit The Shire and copy and paste the letter I have written to the Oklahoma Senators and Congressman.