category: Musings, Poetry

Politics, Pondering, and Profundity

By Rachael Keefe

Series 1: Job 1:1; 2:1-10 Psalm 26 Series 2: Genesis 2:18-24 Psalm 8 Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 Mark 10:2-16 Here are the most popular headlines from a few news sites… Most viewed (from, on 10/7/12) Are Those Spidery Black Things On Mars Dangerous? (Maybe) Manhunt For Manatee-Riding Lady Comes To An End …

Politics, Pondering, and Profundity

Series 1:
Job 1:1; 2:1-10
Psalm 26
Series 2:
Genesis 2:18-24
Psalm 8

Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

Mark 10:2-16

Here are the most popular headlines from a few news sites…

Most viewed (from, on 10/7/12)

Most shared (from, on 10/7/12)

Most popular (from on 10/7/12)

And lastly, Trending Now (from, 10/7/12)

After reading through these headlines, I think the Psalmist has a very good question for God:  what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? (Ps 8:3). Of all the things going on in the world today, lines on Mars, pigs eating a farmer, and uncooperative clothing command our attention? I’m not even sure how some of these stories qualify as news. I know there is an entertainment factor, but the important news gets lost in this.

To be honest, I will be preaching from Psalm 8 this Sunday because I lead worship in a psychiatric hospital. However, I’m not sure I’d want to tackle the other texts, particularly the Gospel reading with its statements on divorce and adultery, even in a more traditional setting. Divorce is an emotional issue and one that is not easily navigated even by emphasizing the “what God has joined together, let no one separate” part of Jesus’ pronouncement on marriage. Nor would it be particularly helpful to set the context for what Jesus said and why he might have said it. With all the debate around marriage equity and traditional marriage this passage presents challenges for both those in pulpits and those in pews. It raises the question of what is important.

Those who asked Jesus the question were testing him. He didn’t give them the answer they expected and maybe raised questions. I will leave the pondering of this text for those of you who are brave enough to preach it…And because I want give my full attention to tonight’s presidential debate!

So, I’m going to end this with my own response to pondering Psalm 8 and suggest that we all spend a little more time deciding what is really important for our lives, the lives of those around us, and the world in which we live.

The following poem is from my book, A Circle in the Dark: Daily Meditations for Advent. Eugene, OR: WIPF and Stock, 2011, pg. 70-71.

Profound Insight

In the light of the moon
at the ocean’s edge
seeking the moment when
horizon meets darkness

under countless stars
on innumerable grains of sand
awed by the vastness
of the universe

I am mind full
and wonder that You
who created all that is
would take notice of me

Your majesty and power
fill me with awe
and confront me
with transforming truth

You so loved the world
that I may walk in light
through the darkness
bearing Your honor and glory

the moon and stars
adorn night skies
a thousand miracles
are a handful of sand

You’ve done all this and still
You love the particularity of me
asking only that I love
with Your love in return

A gift You deem me
worthy to receive
without hesitation
You make me whole

In gratitude and awe
I lift my voice with
ancient words of
gratefulness and praise

O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is
Your name
in all the earth!

A Circle in the Dark: Daily Meditations for Advent

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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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