Daily Devotion for June 10, 2020

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?  Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.  You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet… O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:4-9)
When God created the world and humanity God pronounced “It was very good” (Genesis 1:31).  For the obvious reason, humanity was created “in the image of God.”  God is good, so humanity is expected to be good, “like God.” The Psalmist went further to say humanity are made “a little lower than God, and crowned with glory and honor.” This echoes Thomas Jefferson’s sentiment in the Declaration of Independence that, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The humanity is endowed to be good from their Creator, yet the reality we’d seen recently seems to be the opposite because of a few bad apples. The protests were peaceful march by good people.  These protests turned into violence and looting because of a few people and organized crimes. There is a Hmong proverb saying, “a piece of rat waste taints the whole rice pot.”  One bad cop turns everything good upside down.  Paradoxically, one bad apple does not taint the tree or all its fruit.  Let us not forget the people who really protested against police brutality and our social and systematic injustice are good people, young and old, youth and children.  I believe many of these peaceful protesters do not go to church, but they have the same “values” as endowed by the Creator.  I thank God for these people for continuing to be God’s witness for justice, peace, liberty and happiness for all humanity.  I thank also the church as God’s people and instrument of peace and justice for righteousness in the world.  Most of us could not be able to participate in these protests but I hope we are in it by heart and prayer because of the life we have in Jesus Christ.
God, Creator of heavens and earth and our humanity.  We give you thank for your everlasting love and righteousness, and for your people who you have endowed with your image for liberty, justice and peace in the world.  We pray for good health, safety, justice and peace for all your people everywhere, and for our churches, our nation and our leaders and communities that your will be done on earth as in heaven.  Amen.
Hmong Version
“Tuabneeg nplajteb tsimtxaj npaum le caag koj txhaj ncu txug puab; noobneeg zoo npaum twg, koj txhaj hlub puab ua luaj? Koj tsim puab lug ua tug yau ntawm koj; koj txhaj pub puab muaj fwjchim hab muaj meejmom….  Tug Tswv kws yog peb tug Tswv, koj lub npe kws muaj fwjchim nyob thoob lub nplajteb nuav!” (Phoo Ntawv Nkauj 8:4-9)
Thaus Vaajtswv tsim lub ntuj hab lub nplajteb hab noobneej Vaajtswv has tas, “zoo kawg le” (Chivkeeb 1:31).  Yeej tseeb tag vim Vaajtswv tsim tuabneeg “zoo le Vaajtswv tug yaamntxwv.”  Vaajtswv yog tug zoo, yog le yuav vaam tas tuabneeg ua zoo, “ib yaam le Vaajtswv.”  Ntawv Nkauj tseem tau has tas Vaajtswv tsim tuabneeg “ib nyuas qeg zog le Vaajtswv xwb, hab pub puab muaj fwjchim meejmom.”  Qhov nuav has tau xws le Thomas Jefferson cov lug sau nyob rua tsaab ntawv ua povthawj rua kev ywjpheem, the Declaration of Independence, tas, “txhua tug tuabneeg Vaajtswv tsim muaj vaajhuam sibluag, Vaajtswv pub puab muaj cai ib yaam, kws yog kev Ua Neej, kev Ywjpheej hab kev nrhav txuj kev Tau Zoo Nyob Kaaj Sab Lug.”
Vaajtswv pub peb tuabneeg muaj kev txawj ua zoo, tabsi lub neej peb pum tsi ntev dlhau lug nuav qha tas zoo le tsi yog vim muaj qee lub txiv apple phem.  Cov tuabneeg kws moog taug kev tawm tsaam nomtswv tsi yog tuabneeg phem.  Cov kev tawm tsaam nuav dlhau moog ua kev ntsuj kev tsiv hab tsoo vaaj tsoo tsev nyag khoom yog vim muaj qee leej tuabneeg phem hab tej koomhum ua laib kws tsim kev phem.  Moob muaj ib zaaj paajlug has tas, “ib lub quav tsuag ruas taag ib tsu mov.”  Ib tug tub ceevxwm phem ua rua txhua yaam zoo txheev ua phem taagnrho.  Tabsi kuj tsi yog le ntawd hab, ib lub txiv apple phem tsi ua rua rob ntoo phem lossis nws cov txiv phem taagnrho.
Ca peb tsi xob novqaab tas cov tuabneeg kws moog tawm tsaam nomtswv txug tub ceevxwm ua kev phem hab tej kevcai tsi ncaajnceeg yog cov tuabneeg zoo, tsi has tug laug lossis tug hluas, cov hluas lossis cov mivnyuas yau.  Kuv ntseeg tas ib txha ntawm cov tuabneeg tawm tsaam nuav tsi moog church, tabsi puab muaj qhov “kev zoo” (values) kws Vaajtswv muab rua puab.  Kuv ua tsaug rua cov tuabneeg nuav kws puab ua povthawj rua Vaajtswv txug kev ncaajnceeg, kev thaajyeeb, kev ywjpheej, hab kev nyob kaajsab rua txhua tug tuabneeg.  Kuv ua tsaug rua peb cov ntseeg kws Vaajtswv siv peb ua Vaajtwv dlejnum rua kev nyob thaajyeeb hab kev ncaajnceeg lawv le Vaajtswv lub sab nyam rua lub nplajteb nuav.  Peb feem coob tsi tau moog koom kev tawm tsaam nomtswv tabsi kuv ca sab tas peb txhua tug yuav koom nyob huv lub sab hab kev thov Vaajtswv paab vim lub neej kws peb ua nrug Tswv Yexus.
Vaajtswv, tug Tsim lub ntuj ha blub nplajteb hab peb tuabneeg.  Peb ua koj tsaug rua koj txuj kev hlub hab kev ncaajnceeg kws nyob moog ibtxhis, hab ua tsaug rua koj cov tuabneeg kws koj tau pub puab muaj yaamntxwv zoo le koj txug kev ywjpheem, kev ncaanceeg hab kev nyob thaajyeeb huv nplajteb nuav.  Peb thov kuas koj tej tuabneeg nyob txhua qhov chaw tau txais kev noj qaab nyob zoo, kev ncaajnceeg hab kev thaajyeeb; hab rua peb cov ntseeg, lub tebchaw, tej nomtswv hab lub zej lub zog kuas ua tau lawv le koj lub sab nyam ib yaam le cov kws nyob sau ntauj.  Amees.