Tuesday, February 28, 2017

day 59

If my father and mother
         forsake me,
   the LORD will take me up.  Psalm 27:10

when folks padlock
      their hearts so
      i can't get in;
when the world
packs my belongings,
   leaving the suitcase
   out on the front
      porch when i
      arrive home from
   life;
when friends
continually change
their mobile #s,
      so i can't
      reach them,
            you
gather me
in your arms,
   enveloping me
   in grace.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 27, 2017

day 58

But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.  Mark 9:34

in our (social)
media uproar over
   the latest awards
              fiasco,
   the foolish words
      of vain people,
   the platinumest
      singer around, our
silence
   concerning the most
vulnerable
   in our midst is
deafening.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

day 57

So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.  Mark 9:10

we spend so
much time
   theologizing,
   analyzing,
   seminarizing,
   proclamizing,
this rising conundrum,
that folks looking for
      hope,
   life,
      grace, and
   joy
turn somewhere
          else.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 25, 2017

day 56

Then he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"  Mark 8:21

when we think
the left-over pieces
      of hope are not
      worth saving;
when we step
over the homeless
      on our way
      to the seminar
      on discipleship,
when we spend more time
on retweeting and reposting,
      than on restoring
      the injustices of others,
we show we still
don't have a clue
about the kingdom.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman
     

Friday, February 24, 2017

day 55

"I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat."  Mark 8:2

on the third
         day,
   roll way the stone
   from the tomb
      where we have
      interred our
            compassion,
   so it may be
         resurrected
to offer hope
to those around
      us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 23, 2017

day 54

He leads the humble in what
         is right,
   and teaches the humble his
         way.  Psalm 25:9

when we long
for that ticker-tape
         parade,
   riding through the
   self-congratulatory
            confetti
      showered on us
      for all we have,
set us on
that cracked sidewalk
   so we can follow
             you
      to serve those
who need everything.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

day 53

So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron.  He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!"  Exodus 32:3-4

taking the
   shouts of anger,
   alternative facts of
         fear,
   whispers of woe
from our ears, we
      melt them down
      into those gods
we would rather
worship than
   you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

day 52

He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;  Mark 6:8

   with
your love
   which can overcome
        hate;
your hope
   which can fill
        despair's emptiness;
your grace
   which can change
        all lives (even
                      ours);
your peace
   which can build
        bridges to others,

we have all we
      need
to go out into the world
every day.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 20, 2017

day 51

Such is the company of those
         who seek him,
   who seek the face of the
         God of Jacob.  Psalm 24:6

in the little kids
who read to
      the cats and dogs
      at the no-kill shelter;
in the teenagers
gathering up blankets
         for those who
   sleep on the streets;
in the retirees
who travel the country
   as Mr. and Mrs. Claus
   to visit children in hospitals;
in all who do more
unnoticed
      than all the attention
      seekers ever accomplish,
we discover the
   company
we should keep.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 19, 2017

day 50

You prepare a table before
         me
   in the presence of my
         enemies;  Psalm 23:5:a

in the midst of
      those who trouble
               us, may
   we lay out a
         picnic,
   so in the breaking
      of the bread,
hearts might be
         mended,
   old slights brushed
   away with the
      crumbs,
and bridges built
   across the blanket
   spread across grace's
          lawn.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 18, 2017

day 49

He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how."  Mark 4:26-27

the further we
   are willing to
   journey with
                     faith,
      holding fast to
      her hands, sharing
      each meal, and
         a sleeping bag
         at night, the
closer we come
to that place
   which awaits
us.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 17, 2017

day 48

If you take your neighbor's cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor's only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep?  And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.  Exodus 22:26-27

compassion:

the coat gathering
dust in the closet,
      warming a refugee;
the staples sitting
on the pantry shelf
for the meal no longer
on the menu,
      feeding folks at a shelter;
the arm which could
push away the bullied teenager,
      reaching out to draw
      him into comfort;
the ear tuned to the
latest reality show,
      listening to the
      grief of a widow.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 16, 2017

day 47

The people all answered as one: "Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do."  Exodus 19:8a

of course,
      we will do
everything*
   you ask of us!

*except for
   welcoming the outsider,
   lifting up the fallen,
   caring for the most vulnerable,
   loving our enemies,
   forgiving over and over,
   sharing from our abundance,
and other ridiculous ideas
we know you haven't
really thought through.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

day 46

O my God, I cry by day, but
         you do not answer;
   and by night, but find no
         rest.  Psalm 22:2

in the little girl
at the bus stop
   who smiles, 'hello!';
in the barista
who hands us a
   cuppa, winking,
      'it's on the house';
in the neighbor
who knocks on
the door after
   dinner, offering,
   'how about a piece
         of cake?';
in the grandchild
falling asleep in
   our arms, singing,
      'i love you'

you speak,
                but
are we listening?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

day 45

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  Matthew 28:1

on the second day,
         we could
   teach magic tricks
      to a bunch of
      wide-eyed kids;
   sing love songs
      to the residents
      in a memory unit;
   give a lift
      to the travelers
      by the side of
            society, or
just put our feet up
and relax, as if
   the stone has been
   rolled back to
         silence the
good news.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, February 13, 2017

day 44

Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"   Matthew 27:54

though it is
   no angel of the
            Lord,
      but an officer
         of the empire;
   no heavenly host,
      but a band of
      seasoned, battle-scarred,
         cynical conscripts,
the song is the
             same
at the finish as well
as the beginning of
   the story:

God is here!

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 12, 2017

day 43

Then he asked, "Why, what evil has he done?"  But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!"  Matthew 27:23

we take great umbrage
   at the seasick little girl
         in a refugee boat;
      the woman in front
         of us using food stamps;
      the family struggling
         to learn the language
         of their new home, but
remain silent whenever
   injustice roars,
      lies prowl our streets,
   hate promotes a seminar,
      anger offers a free meal to all.

Lord, have mercy.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, February 11, 2017

day 42

The LORD answer you in the
         day of trouble!
   The name of the God of
         Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from

         the sanctuary,
   and give you support from
         Zion.
May he remember all your

         offerings,
   and regard with favor your
         burnt sacrifices.   Psalm 20:1-3

may God answer you
   with those who long
      to learn your name;
   with cities, neighborhoods,
      strangers offering you
      a safe welcome;
   with those who
   remember
      you are as gifted
      as they;
with those who
honor the sacrifices
      you have made
      on your journey.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 10, 2017

day 41

More to be desired are they
         than gold,
   even much fine gold;  Psalm 19:10a

i could keep
      grace,
   peace,
         hope,
      joy
stuffed deep in
my pockets, or
      offer them
to everyone who
stands by the side
         of life, holding
   a heart-drawn sign
reading,
      'can you help?'

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 09, 2017

day 40

Do not enter the path of the
         wicked,
   and do not walk in the way
         of evildoers.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
   turn away from it and pass
         on.  Proverbs 4:14-15

rather than taking
   the expressway
   to foolishness, may
your grace positioning system
      turn us down
      the back roads
      of hope;
instead of slinking down
the cracked pavement
   of temptation, may
we play hopscotch
on the sidewalks of
the kingdom.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

day 39

The priest of Midian had seven daughters.  They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to feed their father's flock.  But some shepherds came and drove them away.  Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock.  Exodus 2:16-17

we could sit
      by the side
      of society, watching
   and twittering about
   all those who are
         shoved aside,
         ridiculed,
         walled out,
      or
   we can stand up
   to the bullies,
welcoming everyone
to the well of
justice.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

day 38

"Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we say you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?'"  Matthew 25:44

should i
   offer a cup of water
   to those who parch
         the souls of the needy;
   set a place
   at the table for
      all who would build
      walls to limit outsiders;
   drop off a casserole
      to those locked
      in fear's cells;
   provide a lift to
   the doctor's office
      for the legislator
      who voted against
      affordable care for all;
   give my coat
      to the shivering
      pro-life marcher,
or
         just keep butting
         my head against
         my self-righteousness?

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

  

Monday, February 06, 2017

day 37

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."  Matthew 24:35

when fear threatens
to blow it away,
      you whisper, and
   hope digs in its heels;
when bitterness would
throw it in a bin,
      you sing, and
   love is recycled
   in little children;
when haters would
have their way,
      you protest, and
   justice welcomes outsiders
   into their new homes.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, February 05, 2017

day 36

The beginning of wisdom is
         this: Get wisdom,
   and whatever else you get,
         get insight.  Proverbs 4:7

in a time of
      alt-facts,
   and news cranked
   out be counterfeiters, may
we discover
wisdom
      in the weakness
      to serve others;
understanding
      in the laughter
      of children on
      a playground;
insight
      in the innate
      compassion of
   the overlooked.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman  

Saturday, February 04, 2017

day 35

"But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students."  Matthew 23:8

we could put
more letters after
         our names,
   or teach a
   child to read;
we could build
a wall to hold our
         awards and diplomas,
   or construct a
   bridge of hope;
we could sew
bars on our
         robes,
   or set free
   the oppressed;
we could read
         more books,
   or open our hearts
   to you.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman        

Friday, February 03, 2017

day 34

let me be weighed in a just
         balance,
   and let God know my
         integrity!--  Job 31:6

our
   stress, fears, foolish
   choices, nightmares
         are slowly piled on
      and we slowly begin
      to sink deeper,
                        then
you place kilograce
after kilograce in
the weighing pan
until we are tipped
      towards your
love.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

  
  

Thursday, February 02, 2017

day 33

Miners put an end to
         darkness,
   and search out to the
         farthest bound
   the ore in gloom and deep
         darkness.
They open shafts in a valley
         away from human
         habitation;
   they are forgotten by
         travelers,
   they sway suspended,
         remote from people.  Job 28:3-4

may we never forget
   those who clean up
   after us as we
            travel;
   the farmers and migrants
      in the shadows
      before dawn,
      harvesting the food
            we take for granted;
   the utility workers
         suspended above
         fallen trees and
         downed wires to restore
      our power;
   the colliers
         who burrow into
         deep, cold shafts
      so we might keep
   warm.

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

day 32

You have given no water to
         the weary to drink,
   and you have withheld
         bread from the hungry.  Job 22:7

when we could
   hand the parched
   a cup of grace,
      we offer them
      disappointment's dust;
when we could
      prepare a meal for
      those who hunger
      for acceptance, we
   padlock the pantry,
   pocketing the key
         as we walk
      away.

have mercy, Lord . . .

(c) 2017 Thom M. Shuman