Friday, December 19, 2008

learning to cry, struggling to see

found this in an article by jim perkinson (detroit resident + theologian) concerning God and His compassion for the disenfranchised...

Our incarnate God spoke loud and long as a prophet (Luke 7:16-17, Matt. 21; 11; Rev. 3:14), immersed in the harsh everyday world of tenant farmers and tax collectors and wage laborers and HIV-leprosy sufferers and guerrilla fighters and poverty hustlers and dolled up, street-walkers.

He learned his message from bombastic, uppity women who would not keep quiet in the courtroom (Luke 18:18), would not take “no” for an answer when he was “underground” and trying to hide from the authorities up near the city of Tyre (Mark 7:24-30), would not refrain from wiping him with their hair at hoity-toity dinner parties (Luke 7:36-50), or contaminating him with uncleanness by touching him in the marketplace (Mark 5:24-34), would not even consult their husbands when deciding to “have” him, as a baby, by somebody else! (Matt. 1:18-24; Luke 1:26-38).

This God continued to speak even when he was no longer invited to read the bible in nice, respectable “churches” (John 7:11; Luke 4:16-30; John 11:54), pray for the nice sick daughters of the wealthy or their nice dying servants (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 7:1-10), or give nice opinions on local events (Luke 13:1-5), because so much of what he had to say did not sound so nice to well-washed and perfumed ears (Matt. 23:1-39; Luke 11:37-54).

He spoke even when accompanied by crowds who smelled (John 11:39), who were presumed to be thieves (Luke 19:1-10; John 12:4-6; Mark 11:17), who organized parades on pretenses (Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:39), and misunderstood everything except that their own exploiters and oppressors were getting a public comeuppance in this guy’s words (Mark 12:37).

He spoke even when the CIA lurked (Mark 7:1), when the FBI jerked his chain (Mark 3:6; Matt. 12:14), when the spin-meisters sought to catch him in damming sound-bites (Mark 12:13; Luke 11:53-54), when the police threatened arrest after a day-long takeover of the national shrine (Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47-48).

He only ceased speaking when the kangaroo court demanded that he speak (Mark 14:60-61).

Then, in the final moment, far from a quiet, complacent passing on, in full control of pain and pathos like some god-in-human-drag, “slumming,” for a brief season, among such poor wayward creatures, this God yelled, yowled, cursed, swore, cried out, groaned, moaned, made it plain this blood-letting was a divine abomination, and even, like job, finally dared put God “himself” at issue, if such doings as this were “the father’s will” (Mark 15:33-39).

(Maybe - even more than substitution - this incarnation was about solidarity.)

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