Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, September 27th

Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Folks, We’re Home Alone by Thomas Friedman

(This is an excerpt from an editorial by Friedman. If you have access to the Times, I recommending reading the entire editorial.)

Surely one of the most cynical, reckless acts of governing in my lifetime has been President Trump and the G.O.P.’s attempt to ram through a transformation of America’s health care system — without holding hearings with experts, conducting an independent cost-benefit analysis or preparing the public — all to erase Barack Obama’s legacy to satisfy a few billionaire ideologue donors and a “base” so drunk on Fox News that its members don’t understand they’ll be the ones most hurt by it all.

Democrats aren’t exactly a fire hose of fresh ideas, but they do respect science and have a sense of responsibility to not play around with big systems without an ounce of study. Not so Trump. He scrapped the Paris climate treaty without consulting one climate scientist — and no G.O.P. leader protested. Think about that.

That failure is particularly relevant because, as this column has been arguing, “climate change” is the right analytical framework for thinking about how we shape policy today. Why? Because we’re going through three climate changes at once:

We’re going through a change in the actual climate — disruptive, destructive weather events are steadily on the rise.

We’re going through a change in the “climate” of globalization — going from an interconnected world to an interdependent one, from a world of walls where you build your wealth by hoarding the most resources to a world of webs where you build your wealth by having the most connections to the flow of ideas, networks, innovators and entrepreneurs. In this interdependent world, connectivity leads to prosperity and isolation leads to poverty. We got rich by being “America Connected” not “America First.”

Finally, we’re going through a change in the “climate” of technology and work.

Readings from the Prophet Hosea for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

One of the most tender and tragic Bible passages is the first four verses of Hosea 11. You will note that Ephraim is a tender name God gave to Israel. Baal is an idol that Israel substituted for a true relationship with God. Baal actually means “owner.”

Notice the tendency of people to disregard God, while they give themselves to an “owner.”

Hosea 11.1-4 – When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.

Prayers for Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dear God, please open our eyes and help us see how the idols we serve are a tragic substitute for a relationship with you.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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