Day 13 Devotional & Discussion – February 24, 2016

ISAIAH 32:14-18

When the Spirit is present on the earth, there is justice and fullness and abundance. The result of justice is safety, rest and stable habitation. People facing housing instability or homelessness experience physical sickness, mental illness, stress, domestic violence and shorter life expectancy.   They are not experiencing peace, security or undisturbed rest—the very environment God promises.

Questions for Reflection

  1. “The persistent condition of homelessness and housing instability in our city indicates that the Spirit is not present.” Would you agree with that statement? Why or why not?
  2. Is there anything you and your faith community could do to increase the Spirit’s presence? If so, what?
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3 comments

  1. The spirit is present, although it is up to all of us to “release sparks of Divinity,” which we do by revealing situations and circumstances, which suggests that there are enough resources for all. As a case in point, there are plenty of resources available for residents of Lathrop Holmes. The city is sitting on these federal monies.

    So, the mayor’s office lacks vision and the true perspective that the spirit is present. This lack of vision results from scarcity of thinking, a denial that true prosperity is prosperity for all, and that there are enough resources for all.

    We make the spirit visible through dialogue with the city, and when speaking out about housing injustice.

    These situations are relevant to an analysis of power. The Mayor exerts power in perceiving falsely that policies and regulations are determined by City Hall. As we continue to work towards dialogue with the city, we move from a top-down hierarchy, and work towards a praxis of cooperation, and social justice.

  2. I’m reminded of the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit’s fire.” While the Spirit may be present and may want to blaze, there are actions smother the Spirit. I think silence in the face of suffering, affliction and oppression is often the “wet blanket” that inhibits the activity of the Spirit. In silence, we become complicit with the powers of death and destruction. There were plenty of church-goers in Nazi Germany, but only a few vocally opposed Hitler’s solution. Silence is seldom golden–it’s usually just yellow.

    1. Yes, and from my perception, the Spirit is “made visible” in our quest toward dialogue. Even though we may have so far to go, it is the process that is important, as we work towards co-creating with God. The Spirit, as I see it is not a static end in itself. So, through our activity, God, as in, around and through us, expands and “grows” through communal activity. We find then, less of a God rooted in geography — the temple, but a God who continues to create through grace and human activity.

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