Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, April 3, 2017
A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health – “Look on the sunny side of life.”
“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
“See the glass as half-full, not half-empty.”
Researchers are finding that thoughts like these, the hallmarks of people sometimes called “cockeyed optimists,” can do far more than raise one’s spirits. They may actually improve health and extend life.
There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels.
Readings from Isaiah 40.1-2 Monday, April 3, 2017
One hundred and fifty years passed between Isaiah 39 and Isaiah 40. The nation experienced defeat, political upheaval, and the deportion of the population to Babylon. There are nations today who have first hand knowledge of such pain.
The well known Old Testament scholar, Walter Bruggemann, has described Babylon as an entrenched world view. It involves free market consumerism and unbridled militarism. The Babylon mentality sets the limits of what is possible and what is good, what is to be feared and what is to be trusted. There is no doubt that this powerful ideology is such that it robs the human community of its humanness and reuces all of life to commodity. The super powers of the world, especially the United States, need to consider whether we are consumed with a Babylonian spirit.
Can there be life outside of the Babylonian ideology and is there a good-news offer for the distressed of the world? Isaiah 40 say, “Yes.” Praying people are called to take up God’s love for the oppressed and distressed of the world with these good-news promises.
Isaiah 40.1-2 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
Prayers for Monday, April 3, 2017
Dear God, we repent of all of the ways that we are involved in consumerism and militarism, so that we further distress the oppressed of the earth. We pray for your activity on behalf of the multitudes who are vulnerable today.