Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington , M. Div.

“Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully.  What has straw in common with wheat? Says the Lord.  Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?  Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another.  Behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, “Says The Lord.” …”Then Zedekiah the king asked Jeremiah secretly in his house and said: “Is there any word from the Lord?”  (Jeremiah 23:28-31;  37:17)

Tillich, in “The New Being”, using the subject “Is There Any Word From The Lord?”, examines this text of Jeremiah to remind us that this question has been asked “historically by ‘kings in moments of danger’; by ‘people in times of unrest’; by ‘individuals in moments of great personal decision’.  Situations of  helplessness and hopelessness.”

In our times, Pope Francis has found the space to ‘open the door’ on the Church’s age old biblical stance on homosexuality in the Priesthood; while flat out maintaining that in reference to the Church’s age old biblical stance on women in the Priesthood— the ‘door is closed’!  I am not a rocket scientist, but it says to me that rather than have women of religious integrity enter the leadership governance of the Church, it is far better to maintain the ‘all male dominated’ religious world governance, even if males are now sanctioned as female???  If one was biblically interpreted as “sin”, is the other now elevated to “sin”???  IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?  I’m saying— really?

While Congress continues it’s ‘self-serving’, bi-partisan agenda; while Preachers and Pastors amass ‘treasures on earth’; while the Masses sleep and/or wade through the cesspool of lies and injustice and mis-carriage of justice; the volume is now turned up to it’s loudest capacity.  ‘Voter Suppression’; ‘Healthcare(lessness)’— with the very clear and ever present danger that exists as viral crisis.  ‘Wealth Inequity’; ‘Joblessness’.  Misplaced judgement on the explosive ‘Gun Violence’ amidst the ‘open carry’ selective permissiveness. ?   ‘Labor Politics’; ‘Mass Incarceration and it’s ‘Prison Industrial Complex’ (being labeled as America’s extension of it’s Institution of Slavery)’.  The ever growing concern for the “Police Genocide’ as race supremacy!  Prophets, Preachers, Pastors, Pope: while the Church SLEEPS… IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD— IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?

In the moments of danger, the times of unrest, and the circumstances of great personal decision, the possibilities (to include loss) are unsettling.  The consequences of proposed actions (including non action) are disturbing.  Even the ‘hind sighted wouldas’ offer no real “liberation from the longing that grows in the soul.”  IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?  This question, when and where asked, elevates the situation to ultimate importance and infinite significance.  In doing so, among other things, the anxiety is removed and courage is given.

“The Church and it’s servants,” Tillich suggests, (have made the Word From The Lord) “a matter of law and tradition, of habit and convention.”  A possession.  That no longer cuts into ‘our ordinary world.  A possession.  Of something that can NEVER BE possessed  Ceasing to ask and to cry out for It…  IS THERE ANY WORD FROM

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