This weeks meditation: Graduation Day
The scripture is given for instruction in righteousness that we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for ever good work (II Tim 3:17)
Commencement often ends with the nostalgic march Pomp and Circumstance written by Sir Edward Elgar in 1901. The march was inspired by the speech in Act 3 of Shakespeare’s Othello. “pride pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” Many who graduate feel they have emerged from battle and are now set free to create for themselves a new life.
A 50 year old person with perfect Sunday School attendance has approximatly 2,190 hours of religious education. This is the equivalent of a doctorial degree. Historians debate the exact origins of the modern Sunday School but no mater which date one chooses it was started to meet the needs of society and to respond to social injustice. Many consider Robert Raikes (1780 Gloucester England) the founder of the Sunday School movement. He was the Owner and editor of the Gloucester Journal and was concerned with the injustices of child labor, debtors prisons and workhouses.
Children forced to work 6 long days a week in factories began to attend Raikes Sunday School to learn to read and write. Before the forming of a Sunday School these children formed gangs and converged in alleys. Other Sunday schools were designed to meet the needs of illiterate women in the lace and hosiery factories who were subjected to abusive working conditions with limited options. The purpose was to address the deep social disparities between rich and the poor. An employee described Raikes as “a good liberal master who paid good wages”.
Today Sunday School serves many purposes from study of scripture to discussions of current events and informal socialization. We are encouraged, gain insight and personal edification. It is a school from which one does not graduate. Injustice occurs in all nations and communities past and presence. Let us commence….
Prayer: Lord thank you for the opportunity to teach and to learn. May we remember why we assemble together and may we walk in confidence that we are thoroughly equipped for good work. Speak to the quiet places of our hearts and give us courage to face the injustices and to respond in righteousness. Amen.
Educate yourself about the School of the Americas. http://www.soaw.org/new/ It is a US military school of torture for Central and South America. Among the graduates are Manual Noriega and other terrorists from Panama, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador .The alumni of this school have participated in massacres, assassinations and the overthrow of democratically elected governments. We remember the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the massacre of 14-year-old Celina Ramos, her mother Elba Ramos and six Jesuit priests in El Salvador and hundreds of other human rights abuses. Closing the school would send a strong human rights message to Latin America and the world. let your voice be heard.
Next week, the week of June 5, Congress will vote on an amendment to close the School of the Americas (also known as WHINSEC) Rep. McGovern (MA) will introduce an amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to cut the funding.
Also, Continue with lessons in nonviolence. http://www.salsa.net/peace/conv/index.html