Wind Chimes: 5 Nov 2012

Resting cats on Wikimedia Commons

Ruth said [to Naomi], “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

Ruth 1:16-17 NRSV

In our Sunday worship we are reading (in part) from the Book of Ruth. One commentator opens our eyes to a deeper understanding of one of the treasures found in the Book: “Near the end of the book, the Bethlehemite women will articulate to Naomi what has been evident all along, that Ruth’s love is worth more than seven sons. Grace is walking right beside Naomi, unseen, yet refusing to leave her.” Let’s explore grace and “hesed.” ~dan

The wind sets the sounds of the chimes free to come to us. It is amazing. What do you hear?

Grace

I believe we can begin to approach an understanding of the grace of God—cosmic as it is—in the ordinary graces of human life. The daily graces in our embodied, incarnate, fleshly existence offer us one way to begin to understand what is ultimately incomprehensible: the grace of God.  Brother Mark Brown SSJE

Br. Mark Brown on Brother Give Us a Word

hesed

Ruth, along with Song of Songs and Esther, has become a primary text for feminist theologians and critics who have found in it a corrective to the patriarchy that pervades much of the Bible. These books not only feature women as central figures but—perhaps more important—suggest ways in which the marginalized can act as agents of their own life within and despite patriarchal dominance. Ruth’s generous spirit also demonstrates the capacity of women to mirror and model divine covenantal love (Heb. hesed). From, “Ruth” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible on Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Emphasis is mine.

Love‘ Love here translates “ḥesed,” a frequent attribute of God in the Bible. “Hesed,” a common biblical term, describes the relationship between individuals or groups, and between God and human beings, especially Israel. It expresses both an attitude and actions devolving from that attitude; English “loyalty” best approximates its sense, which combines obligation and kindness or favor. When used of God toward Israel, it may be related to the covenant, and it expresses God’s faithfulness, goodness, and graciousness. Note in the NJPS for Psalm 5:8 (Oxford Biblical Studies Online)

loving-kindness‘ One translation of the Hebrew hesed, an attribute of God, associated with his mercy, and, also of human beings (Ps. 141: 5), sometimes translated ‘great kindness’ (Gen. 19: 19, NRSV; ‘unfailing care’, REB). It is used by Hosea of the care he promises for his wife (Hos. 2: 19). The NT ‘grace’ is an approximate equivalent. From “loving-kindness” in A Dictionary of the Bible on Oxford Biblical Studies Online

mercy‘ In Hebrew the noun hesed (‘mercy’) is also translated ‘loving-kindness’, and implies the loyalty of God to the covenant. In the NT God’s mercy is revealed in the salvation offered through Jesus (Luke 1: 58; Rom. 11: 30–2) and a similar outgoing compassion towards human suffering is shown by Jesus (Luke 17: 13). From “mercy” in A Dictionary of the Bible on Oxford Biblical Studies Online

We continue to pray for others

God, we pray for the recovery of all the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Continue to strengthen the responders, give hope and comfort to those who are hurting, and provide for those who have lost. Amen.

Prayer of the Day for 10/31/12 on Verse and Voice from Sojourners

Commentary by Patricia Tull A.B. Rhodes Professor Emerita of Old Testament Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Jeffersonville, IN) on WorkingPreacher.org

Photo: By Tarimo at zh via Wikimedia Commons ~dan

Advent Calendar Day 7: 16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

It’s never too late to be a voice to end violence. The final week of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (Nov. 25 – Dec. 10) sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University begins today (12/3).

Quote . . .Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE), the Episcopal Women’s Caucus (EWC), Episcopal Church Women (ECW) and Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) have teamed up to promote this year’s Episcopal 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, November 25-December 10. …

The Episcopal 16 Days campaign targets faith communities in the Episcopal Church and challenges them to participate in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University. Since its founding in 1991, more than 3,700 organizations in approximately 164 countries have participated in CWGL’s 16 Days campaign. The Episcopal Church began participating in 2010. (from the EWC E-newsletter of 29 November 2011)

Raising Awareness

“Since 1991, the annual 16 Days Campaign has mobilized more than 3,700 organizations in 164 countries to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of the multiple forms of violence women face. From Afghanistan to Iceland, the 16 Days Campaign has grown into a powerful platform to educate the public and governments about violence against women and human rights.” (from the 16 Days Press Release)

For the rest of the story: 16 Days Home Page. Hear what the Spirit is saying.

Local efforts to provide safety, raise awareness and offer “a hand up” include:
Shelter from the Storm (a Coachella Valley Resource)
Julian’s Housing Program for Women and Children (a program of Episcopal Community Services in San Diego)

Advent Calendar in one place
About the Online Advent Calendar


For further reflection

Official News Release about the campaign

New Brunswick, New Jersey—On November 25, 2011, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) will launch the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. Hundreds of events by organizations worldwide are planned to campaign against gender-based violence, which is experienced by up to 70 % of women in their lifetime, according to the United Nations. It is estimated that worldwide, one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria.

The 16 Days Campaign begins on November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and ends on December 10, International Human Rights Day. These dates symbolically link violence against women and human rights, and emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation. The 16 Days Campaign theme, From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!, puts the spotlight on militarism and its role in perpetuating violence against women and girls. “The violence we encounter is often profoundly influenced by national, regional, and international policies and practices, and challenges us to act in solidarity to promote an end to militarism and violence against women,” says Dr. Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership; the coordinator of the 16 Days Campaign.

Over 250 events are planned worldwide to call for an end to militarism and violence against women, including: A Silent No More! march through Yerevan, Armenia, focusing on violence against women; Across Alice Springs, Australia, a series of arts events focused on women’s resilience is organized, including a quilt exhibition; In Lagos, Nigeria, student trainings and dialogues with media outlets will be held to sensitize communities about gender-based violence; The Center for Women’s Global Leadership will co-host a Java n’ Justice Coffeehouse, featuring a military fashion show, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA.

This year, the Center is also partnering with Stardoll to bring the 16 Days Campaign to the online media site’s over 130 million users between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. Since 1991, the annual 16 Days Campaign has mobilized more than 3,700 organizations in 164 countries to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of the multiple forms of violence women face. From Afghanistan to Iceland, the 16 Days Campaign has grown into a powerful platform to educate the public and governments about violence against women and human rights.

View or download the Official Press Release of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

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Photo: 16 Days of Activism official website