Observations mundane and extraordinary…

Y’all remember when Obama had to disavow Wright and Farrakhan before he even was “allowed” to be elected? Ya boy was still in the primaries. But, ya boy Bannon get to be a part of Trump campaign and now has a seat at the Oval Office, huh? I’ll let you all interpret that on your own. 

College football is a mess… The 4 team playoff is not enough and as the seasons progress, less and less teams will be undefeated and an easy shoo-in. I find the talk of the SEC’s weakness laughable. Ultimately, the SEC West is the toughest division in college football. Ole Miss, Miss St., LSU, Arkansas, Bama, Texas A&M, and Auburn. For those who are talking bad about them… child please… go ‘head with that. But the Big 10 is no slouch either. 

What would the world have been like if Dave Chappelle hadn’t unexpectedly quit the Chappelle Show? After watching SNL, I realized how much I missed that dude. He has a penchant of combining weird, raunchy, incisive, and social threads to weave an exquisite fabric of comedy that reveals the absurd. I miss that kind of comedy. It’s a kind of comedy that hurts like hell even as you laugh with reckless abandon. 

Seems like the Warriors are the team to hate, and LeBron gets the year off in terms of being the object of ire for the masses. So I don’t know if Marsellus and Butch are gonna meet this NBA season and discuss the King, but maybe they’ll discuss the possible resurgence of my Lakers… I’m not gonna jinx my boys just yet. Let’s see what Walton can get out of them. 

Say Bruh… Say Sis… go cop that new Tribe Called Quest album… stat!

Lawd, my eldest bro texted me the “U Name It!” Video(s) before it got hot. This thang is about to be off the chain. Now the memes have started. Never underestimate the ability to create a space of laughter in the face of adversity. Them Joe Biden memes too…

NFL don’t know what to do now that Manning has retired. College Football been waxing them every week in terms of excitement. 

Preaching a sermon after this election was not a game… Preached on the Sermon Subject of “We’ve Been Here Before, So Let’s Go Somewhere Else.” No, I was not advocating a quick departure to Canada; neither was I telling folk to wait until we get to heaven… I believe God is asking us to participate in the creation of a different state of relationships. I also tried to give my parishioners the space to be present in their emotions. 

I’ve talked to and seen students who are worried and don’t feel safe. I saw tears running down their faces. I tried to listen, to give them historical perspective. I tried to let them be present in their feelings–even if their feelings were ones of jubilation. But I asked them to interrogate those feelings and to ask themselves what ultimates those feelings are attached to. I was humbled and awestruck by their willingness to express themselves. 

I was thankful for someone reaching out to me, who was trying to understand my position. And even if he didn’t agree with me, and even if I didn’t fully convince him… we both showed that it’s possible to disagree and still have our humanity intact. I was also disheartened because someone was trolling my page and was more interested in proving his rightness or intelligence or whatever he was trying to prove… than to hear the concerns that so many have brought to me and that I myself wonder about. This week has affirmed my belief that there are good people everywhere. And this week has confirmed that there are some folks you can’t have a conversation with–not because conversation is impossible, but because some folks don’t want to have a conversation. They want to dominate the discourse. What is idolatrous beyond all measure to me is the idea that I know everything and that my perspective will always be more informed than someone else’s… Such hard-heartedness clothed in pseudo-intelligence yields nothing but broken relationships. 

And that’s a phenomenon I’ve seen on all sides of the political spectrum. 

The week after… reconciliation without repentance is dead and we are locked in a horrific game of tit for tat… it’s understandable, but our country has shown a lack of spiritual vitality that transcends not just partisanship, but a spirituality that transcends America itself. Appealing to our nation is not enough–American exceptionalism needs to sit its overestimated butt down and we need to reclaim the spirit of our humanity, not the spirit of nationality. We are caught in a ritual of dehumanization, where various forms of identification have reduced our social relationships to cinders and ash. The week after… I’m convinced that American ideals and institutions, while helpful and inspiring, cannot ultimately save us for they are partly responsible to the dehumanization. And for those who hear the church organ playing–hold up… I’m not saying the church or some abstract, doctrinal concept of God will save us either. 

This week, I’m convinced, more than ever, that an ongoing collaboration between ourselves (and our planet) and a gracious and loving Creator is the only thing that’s gonna get us out of this cosmic and historical, universal and particular, extraordinary and mundane… mess. 

The week after… I’m affirming that life is more than an election, Alabama is the TRUTH and I can’t wait til they play Auburn next week, and I’m itching to see Rogue One. A week later, and I’m still wondering why our analyses of events seeks to find singular causes–and I’m forced to admit that I shoulda published my dissertation a long time ago…

The week after…

I’m still trusting in, hoping in, and loving God and love to the best of my ability. And I’m praying that I may love my neighbors as myself. And who is my neighbor? Everyone, with a close eye on the least of these…

I got justice, mercy, love, faith, hope…

U NAME IT!!!

M. J. Sales

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