Thursday, September 1, 2011
The Wisdom of Peacemaking
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, e“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 3:13-4:12
The Wisdom of Peacemaking
Now is the time when the four winds subside
with the early morning stillness lingering
sleep still heavy in the eyes, gentle words
and language flow, we are like children
stretching for the day.
The storms drove us away and apart
we groaned with labor and striving
we thought we could judge and exclude
we thought we knew we were right
and in losing meekness and humility
we lost our way.
The ancestors cried out and the winds blew
we didn't listen then we tightened our grasp
we bullied and argued we flexed and raged
the dangers of an angry heart clouding all.
And the sea rose high the waves covered us
sweeping us to the four corners of the earth
and in our isolation we knew our need
in our lonely ache we knew desire for love
in our damp abandoned selves we found God.
And whispering in the wind
God loves us
in the sweet smell of new grass
God judges us with forgiveness
with the eyes of a tender parent
ready to forgive, arms ready for embrace
love aching to be made whole.