Cogitation 25/203 Saturday 22 June 2019 Last Sunday, visiting pastor Oscar Sawali challenged listeners to dismantle “isms.”
The world is going backwards in terms of racism and religious intolerance, the pastor from South Africa said. He sees the church again being part of the oppressive system. He suggested Christians have become immune to challenges happening around us, as though we have lost hope as we assimilate with political power. “It’s always dangerous when political power uses the name of Jesus,” he said.
He called for Christians to see all people as human beings. “We might be different but we are one,” he said of those who come together to do God’s work.
Pastor Sawali called attention to the Muslim leaders in the US who have sent a message on the proper interpretation of the Koran to clerics around the world.
On the situation on the Mexican/US border, he called for Christians to give Jesus a human face there. It is evil to separate children from their parents or other caregivers, he said. In Acts 13:10. Paul tells the magician Elymas “will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”
You can listen to the sermon on the the church’s website. Google Prairie Street Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Indiana and click on podcast for June 16.
A turn around Fidler’s Pond
A walk around Goshen
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
I finished reading the book. Seeing the story through Victor Hugo’s eyes brings the Romantic Literature movement of the late 18th to mid-19th century into bold relief. Emotion, freedom, individuality, imagination are given a field day. Glorification of the past, of nature, of the medieval are fully in play.
The central point Hugo makes in the novel concerns Fate. Fate holds people hostage from their own best interests and the best interests of others. Nobody wins.
I loved the fidelity to the historical period; recoiled at the brutal injustice and horrid prison conditions; wondered what so many people did for food; shuddered at the single-eyed scheming for gold, or, in another vein, how the quest for the material superseded cultivation of the spiritual; smiled at how superstitions and appeal to the superhuman have parallels today; and reveled in the brilliance of how Hugo got to the heart of the matter, Hugo’s spell lives on.
Welcome to summer.