Written by Rev. Kaaren Anderson and read by Jessica Wirges
Moment of Perspective – Resistance and the Un-Mantra – AJ Fox
The Fellowship of Reconciliation, America’s oldest interfaith peace organization notes the importance of this season in the beginning of April this year when we experience a rare and special convergence of sacred days, saying “The first week of April of 2023 is a special moment among the three Abrahamic faith traditions–Judaism, Christianity and Islam–as major annual observances will overlap this year. Muslims will be midway through their month-long observance of Ramadan, during which they purify their intentions, words and actions. On April 2nd, Christians celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week leading up to redemption on (today) Easter Sunday with the resurrection of Jesus. On April 5th, Jews will celebrate their liberation from bondage during the feast of Passover.”
In many ways, each of these religions were formed as an act of resistance. Today’s message shares an interpretation of Jesus that leans into that spirit of resistance and away from the popular expressions of Christianity that are allied with power, exclusion, and control. Our opening words by Rev. Gretchen Haley encourage us to engage in our own personal acts of resistance. Hear now “This Wholeness is our Practice of Resistance.”
Although there remains
too much evidence
of the world
Inside the quiet places
of your heart
there resides still
to return to this
that we belong to each other / this earth / this life
To re-member ourselves
and all of our lost pieces
Beloved in ways that cannot be
To dwell here in this healing
is our practice
Even in rage we refuse
to relinquish gratitude
Come, let us worship together.
Lo, the Earth Awakes
Words: Samuel Longfellow
Music: Lyra Davidica
Traditional Passover Song
Performed by Luna Hamburg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by the First UU Choir
Music: Old Hundredth, Genevan Psalter (Public Domain)
Lyrics: Verse 377, Anon; Verses 378-379, Kenneth L Patton (Permission Granted)
I’ll now share a poem by Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.