April 30, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for April 30, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Losing and Gaining Our Lives”

The great paradox of life is that those who lose their lives will gain them. This paradox becomes visible in very ordinary situations. If we cling to our friends, we may lose them, but if we are non-possessive in our relationships, we will make many friends. If fame is what we seek and desire, it often vanishes as soon as we acquire it, but if we have no need to be known, we might be remembered long after our deaths. When we want to be in the center, we easily end up on the margins, but when we are free enough to be wherever we must be, we often find ourselves in the center.
Giving away our lives for others is the greatest of all human acts. This will gain us our lives.

Okay, I’m fudging a little today. This isn’t really a prayer, but another meditation. Still, I thought it more than worth sharing.

A Reflection on Social Distancing

By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky B’nai David-Judea Congregation, a Modern Orthodox Synagogue in Los Angeles

One of the brand-new terms that has entered our daily conversation is “social distancing.” It is shorthand, as we know very well, for the practical physical precautions that we all need to and must take in order to protect ourselves and others. I’d humbly suggest though, that we use the term itself sparingly, if at all. Language is a powerful shaper of thinking. And the very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing.

We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way. Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise. It is obvious that “distancing,” if misplaced or misunderstood, will take its toll not only upon our community’s strength and resiliency, but upon the very integrity and meaning of our spiritual commitment. …

Let’s stay safe. And let’s draw one another closer in a way that we’ve never done before.

Today’s cartoons come from the “Reverend Fun” website:

Today’s links! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=dTWy9jim7Mw&feature=emb_logo Singer and actor Dame Vera Lynn, known in England as the “Armed Forces Sweetheart,” first recorded “I’ll Be Seeing You” in 1942, when London was reduced to rubble by German bombs. She continued to perform, even releasing a
new album when she was 100. (In March, she celebrated her 103rd birthday.) Here, the stars of London’s West End theatre district sing their version of “I’ll Be Seeing You” for 2020.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/europe/coronavirus-denmark-germany-border.html It will take more than a pandemic to keep this couple (aged 89 and 85) apart.

https://twitter.com/FrankCaliendo/status/1250950502612795392 Watch here as Marv Albert, Charles Barkley and Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal do playby-play of nuns playing basketball.

http://nowiknow.com/the-nazis-chocolate-bomb/ Read all about the Nazis’ chocolate bomb at this link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NJRCCgK_AM I’m a sucker for flash mobs. Watch as one assembles to play Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. (Sorry, no cannons.) Oh, what the heck! Here’s another flash mob, this one slowly coming together to play Ravel’s Bolero.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyiLIIx2sEI

May joy surprise you today! Stay safe.