Live right? Despise Exploitation? Watch TV? 082912
This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation and a true friend to all.
As I hear news from the Republician convention rattling off behind me, with speakers invoking love to establish trust for their favored candidate, I wonder if they’ve ever read the wisdom in Isaiah 33:10-16. I read the Message version first – “Live right”…open to interpretation. “Speak the truth”…a well established moral in most circles. About the time I hit “Despise Exploitation” I realized I was in for more than the basics. Such a strong set of words, I had to visit the dictionary for clarification. Exploitation’s first definition:
The act of employing to the greatest possible advantage
My brain immediately referred back to being an online education student pursuing “my corporate arts degree” in business administration, like labeling advertising as “strategic communication.” The other definition had the word selfish in it. Our corporate world is founded on the idea of maximizing profits, which doesn’t seem to fit with Isaiah’s recommendations. The war industry combines exploitation with violence and bloodshed. How can someone participate in actions and industries promoting these practices of unjust gain and ignore the pleas of equality from the people? John 15:16-25 reminds us that the being of the world brings one of these individuals into the loving comforts of the material world, with its modern luxuries. But with a price – living in the midst of hate, receiving and giving it along with the system that has molded them. With all my heart, i wish them a reminder of what it’s like to love one another. All others.
So raise your standard of living. Don’t take part in the bloodshed and the violence by watching footage on TV. Let people know that the simple, loving life will always sustain you.
This week’s guest blogger: : Jackie Casteel considers herself a perpetual student of spirituality on this incredible journey of life. For many years she has been amazed by the ever changing, infinite possibilities in every moment, but has only in recent years started seeking the wisdom held within the bible. She continues to be amazed.
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The Message (MSG)
97-104 Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed;
I reverently ponder it all the day long.
Your commands give me an edge on my enemies;
they never become obsolete.
I’ve even become smarter than my teachers
since I’ve pondered and absorbed your counsel.
I’ve become wiser than the wise old sages
simply by doing what you tell me.
I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil
so I can spend all my time keeping your Word.
I never make detours from the route you laid out;
you gave me such good directions.
Your words are so choice, so tasty;
I prefer them to the best home cooking.
With your instruction, I understand life;
that’s why I hate false propaganda.
The Message (MSG)
10-12“Now I’m stepping in,” God says.
“From now on, I’m taking over.
The gloves come off. Now see how mighty I am.
There’s nothing to you.
Pregnant with chaff, you produce straw babies;
full of hot air, you self-destruct.
You’re good for nothing but fertilizer and fuel.
Earth to earth—and the sooner the better.
13-14“If you’re far away,
get the reports on what I’ve done,
And if you’re in the neighborhood,
pay attention to my record.
The sinners in Zion are rightly terrified;
the godless are at their wit’s end:
‘Who among us can survive this firestorm?
Who of us can get out of this purge with our lives?'”
15-16The answer’s simple:
speak the truth,
avoid evil amusements.
This is how you raise your standard of living!
A safe and stable way to live.
A nourishing, satisfying way to live.
The Message (MSG)
16“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17“But remember the root command: Love one another.
Hated by the World
18-19“If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.
20“When that happens, remember this: Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them.
21-25“They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don’t know the One who sent me. If I hadn’t come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. Hate me, hate my Father—it’s all the same. If I hadn’t done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn’t be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. Interesting—they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, ‘They hated me for no good reason.’
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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