February 9, 2010

While white Georgians were not alone in their conflicts with and ultimate removal of that native presence (in Georgia’s case, of the Creeks and the Cherokees), the tragic circumstances of the Cherokees’ forced exile from the state’s northwestern territory in 1838-39, known as the “Trail of Tears,” became a particularly potent symbol of the trauma and suffering that all such removals entailed. Men, women, and children were taken from their land, herded into makeshift forts with minimal facilities and food, then forced to march a thousand miles to Oklahoma. Under the generally indifferent army commanders, human losses for the first groups of Cherokee removed were extremely high.
The Cherokee rose represents the suffering of the women who walked on the “Trail of Tears” when it was forced upon them in 1838. Being unable to care for their children, the mothers hearts were broken. Their grieving was so deep that the Elders prayed to the Creator for a sign to give the mothers strength and faith. The next day, as they walked along the trail, a beautiful, white flower grew wherever a mother’s tear fell and touched Mother Earth. The white flower is a white rose, called the “Cherokee Rose”, which still grows along the route of the “Trail of Tears”.

Jesus, You are the Rose of Sharon blossoming in the wilderness,
Bless the descendants of those who walked the Trail of Tears. Strengthen the weak hands and confirm the weak knees. Say to these Cherokees, Be strong and fear not. Usher them along the highway of holiness, where no lion or ferocious beast may tread and guard them from wicked fools.
With Your tears, wash the spiritual landscape of Georgia. Pull up the root systems of greed, racism, and genocide. You have poured out Your life blood for this land. Dig up all bitter curses. Cleanse it, we pray. Amen.
Isaiah 53

John 8:2-12

February 9, 2010

Now early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him; and he sat down and taught them. (John 8:2)
      Jesus, please come into our parishes and teach us; help us all come to you.

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. (John 8:3-4)
      Jesus, the Episcopal Church has been caught in adultery — it has gone after the lords and culture of this world.

Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?” (John 8:5)
      Jesus, have mercy on us.

This they said, testing him, that they might have something of which to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger, as though he did not hear. (John 8:6)
      [My father-in-law used to say that Jesus was writing, “Where is the man?”]

      Lord Jesus Christ, we ask you to find some way to rescue your people out of the adultery of the Episcopal Church.

So when they continued asking him, he raised himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. (John 8:7-8 )
      Holy Spirit, please help each of us recognize where we have been complicit in the sins of the Episcopal Church and repent.

Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (John 8:9)
      Father, move all of us to conviction of sin and help us turn to your son Jesus.

When Jesus had raised himself up and saw no one but the woman, he said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)
      Holy Spirit, please help us move beyond condemnation of the sins of the Episcopal Church to bringing the light of the gospel wherever it has grown dark.

She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
      Holy Spirit, help the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church turn to Jesus in repentance and cease excusing sin.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
      Jesus, please help us daily follow you. Thank you for your light.

Tuesday: 78:40-72; Genesis 26:1-6,12-33; Hebrews 13:17-25; John 7:53-8:11
Wednesday: 81, 82; Genesis 27:1-29; Rom. 12:1-8; John 8:12-20

Albany Intercessor

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