Luke 4:16-21 King James Version
16 Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives . . .
. . . and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
[NOTES: Muslims regard Jesus as one of the great prophets who brought divine guidance to humanity before Prophet Muhammad.
Jews traditionally reject Christian theological claims about Jesus. However, “Considering the historical Jesus, some modern Jewish thinkers have come to hold a more positive view of Jesus, arguing that he himself did not abandon Judaism and/or that he benefited non-Jews.” (Wikipedia )]
[NOTE: I agree with just about all that Nick Kristof says here. But his roster of myths is incomplete. He overlooks a fourth “myth” that gets in the way of his humane insight and hope like the piles of rubble that mark this war on every front. More on that below.]
New York Times:
What We Get Wrong About Israel and Gaza
Nov. 15, 2023
By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist
With the bilateral slaughter in the Middle East unleashing poisons that are worsening hatred worldwide, let me outline what I see as three myths inflaming the debate:
The first myth is that in the conflict in the Middle East there is right on one side and wrong on the other (even if people disagree about which is which).
Life isn’t that neat. The tragedy of the Middle East is that this is a clash of right versus right. That does not excuse Hamas’s massacre and savagery or Israel’s leveling of entire neighborhoods in Gaza, but underlying the conflict are certain legitimate aspirations that deserve to be fulfilled. Continue reading More Melancholy Wisdom on Israeli-Hamas War Myths
Kudos this week to the Christian Century (CC) magazine, for its statement on the Hamas/Israeli war. They were not quick to run to the pundit barricades; when Hamas attacked, despite their shock, they grabbed their knees and kept them from jerking. They thought and struggled about it; their struggle likely continues.
And their considered editorial answer was –for me at least — clarifying. In sum, they said: the situation is complex as hell. (That’s my paraphrase.) More precisely:
From “Bearing Witness to Multiple Stories” (11/6/2023):
“Every conflict involves competing stories, but often one story clearly embodies far more truth than the other. Not in this case. Each of the two stories sketched out here [Palestinian & Israeli] is factually sound, historically informed, and morally compelling. Both stories are true.
And they are heartbreaking and tragic. Both are stories of people who love the land and deserve to live there in peace. Peace has long been stymied by political missteps, cycles of violence, and interventions by those who can only see one story’s truth. For US Christians, bearing witness to this conflict begins with recognizing that it contains more than one true story.”
Continue reading On Israel/Hamas: Many Conflicting “Truths”, Or Convictions
October is Visitation & Board meeting month for Friends United Meeting (FUM). Besides board members from FUM’s shrinking but scattered territories, notable Friends will be gathering in and around its home turf of Richmond Indiana.
Among the most notable of these visitors is Kenyan Friend John Muhanji, who heads FUM’s African ministries. Besides official sessions, he’ll be visiting several Friends meetings & churches in the Midwest during the next few weeks.
No doubt the official agendas in these sessions will be full, and discussions lively. But if FUM’s record is any guide, some issues may have a hard time getting heard.
One in particular (unless I miss my guess), despite the fact it’s been in the news, on my mind, and even the pope has talked about it. But neither the pope nor I will be in Indiana this month.
So maybe some reader will pass along the following questions, not only in Indiana but to any other FUM-connected meeting or concerned Quakers:
Also . . .
Also, about the gospel being preached . . .
One for all those with financial responsibilities:
Others are asking too:
In Closing: For John Muhanji & FUM:
Fate played a cruel, unwanted hand in Diane Feinstein’s political rise:
On Nov. 27, 1978, at the end of her tether, Ms. Feinstein [then a member of the San Francisco city Board of Supervisors] told City Hall reporters that she intended to quit political life. Two hours later, shots exploded down the hall from her office. She ran toward the gunfire and, moments later, knelt beside a dying mayor. Mr. Moscone and Harvey Milk, the city’s first openly gay supervisor, who was shot in another office, had been killed by Dan White, a disgruntled former supervisor, who was quickly captured and eventually imprisoned.
The Board of Supervisors selected Feinstein to succeed the slain Moscone and from the mayoralty, Feinstein won a U. S. Senate seat in 1992. Continue reading Two Unforgettable Recollections of Senator Dianne Feinstein