Friday, 4 October 2013

God Said ...

Then God said ...
Gen 1:3

Primordial memory of our very existence is the say-ing of God, which is reflected in Genesis, "God Said". This very saying of God is the dying and resurrection of God, wherein the saying of God is emptying of God from its plenitude. This emptying of plenitude of God is an actual loss of Godhead, but this actual loss resulted in the voice of God. The loss became the very beginning, the beginning of the God through the voice of his saying, wherein in this loss God became God in our horizon.

This beginning is the real beginning of our history, where eternity has ended into time, that is "In the beginning." Wherefore the very beginning of our history is beginning with God, that is "God said". This beginning in time is the ending of primordial darkness, nothingness and silence. This say-ing of God shatters every silence and breaks into voice. This voice which ends every other voice everywhere, wherein it ends every voice of darkness itself by saying "let there be light".

And in this "light", in his own light of his say-ing "word" we see God as God through his own epiphany of light, which is dying to his own eternity and resurrecting in and through the beginning of time, the time of our history, to end every oppression of darkness and deafening silence. This voice fills the void and gives birth to actual and residing light of our existence.

This beginning is also the fall of God. A fall in and through which God's image is materialized in the clay of the earth as human's (imageo dei). God abandons his formless primordial existence to become a form and fall into the clay of human existence. Therefore it can be thus imagined, that God falls dead and buried in the clay only to be resurrected as Adam and Eve. It is in this sense our beginning is God's fall. And God's voice is our only resounding of our identity throughout all ages. It is an affirmative voice that always resounds, "God Said."

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

God in Exile

"A man was going down..."
Luke 10:30

Lk 10:30-34

An effective revelation of the divine occurs during an exile of an individual who was estranged from his family, homeland and everything he belonged to. An apocalypse is brought into effect in that individual in order to experience the revelation of El-Shaddai (Gen 12:1; 15:7; 17:1). Only in the experience of a proper exile and estrangement does God appears in his own estrangement, that is revelation, where the infinite totality steps into its otherness of finite totality. That is in the self-naming and self-revelation of God in El-Shaddai named in the experience of estrangement and exile.

This self-estrangement and exile brought into this world the complete revelation of the I AM of the self-revealed God into history. This total self-estrangement of God in exile we call as Jesus Christ (Phil 2:5-11). A complete emptying of the transcendence which is the abode of God was abandoned to take its place on the earth which is God's place of exile and estrangement (Hegel, Altizer). Only in this exile and estrangement does God becomes flesh (John 1:14) and new totality and revelation which is actual and present.

Now to the reading of Luke 10:30-34 the story of a Jew traveling towards Jericho was wounded by bandits abandonment by Priest and Levite was finally rescued by a Samaritan, who was a stranger and one who was sent into exile by the Jews. Samaritan who features in the parable is usually named as Jesus the 'good Samaritan.' A re-reading will question the very popular naming of Jesus as 'good Samaritan' because culturally Jesus cannot identify himself as Samaritan because he is a Jew. The very parable itself is a reversal, where in a Jew is abandoned by Jews in to the other who is in exile, and that Jew in his exile in order to find the other in true revelation of himself.

This parable when read through the experience of exile and estrangement talks about Jesus who in exile from the transcendence finds himself in the hands of the estranged other humanity that can be named as the Samaritans of God, find God in the state of brokenness, where the very act of healing is the healing of humans themselves. This parable is an revelation of God in brokenness and exile in a complete revelation of God as stranger of the other and the reconciliation of the other experiences the healing of humanity which is the Great Humanity Divine (Blake).

Therefore the very condition of exile and estrangement which is experienced in today's reality is the assurance of the total presence of God in the other, where when we try to heal the brokenness of humanity we actually restore the great humanity divine.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

To be ... and ... ever TO BE...

"Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors--has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations."
 Exodus 3:15 (NLT)

Exodus 3

'Yahweh' is the most sacred of all names for the Jewish people hence it is represented as YHWH. Etymological exegetes have given the name a derivation as "Ehyeh asher Ehyeh" where "hayah" means "to be*."Which could be read as YHWH as someone who is "to be" which could be interpreted as a complete opening towards an ever expanding horizon to the future of multitude of possibilities.

In reading through the whole narration, we encounter a God who is willing to reveal himself to Moses in order to liberate the people of Israel. Now, let's closely watch the word "I AM" in the narration. At first Moses responds to the calling from the burning bush as "here I am" (Ex 3:4). And he goes on to say "who am I" which could be an intriguing reversal of his question to God which is underlying as "Who are you." Finally Moses gets the name of God as "I AM Who I AM." Which is both presenting of Moses as "here I AM" and the questioning as "who I Am." Now the naming of God which is rendered as "I am Who I am" in English is actually Hayah or Yahweh which means "to be."

Moses stands in the presence of the Divine who has revealed himself in history and time to liberate the oppressed. And the calling of Moses is not a singular calling but a constant everlasting call which is continues for everyone who thirsts for the liberation of the other. Thus the calling "Moses, Moses" which is continues and echoes throughout history (Ex 3:4). The calling brings the called to the presence of the "to be." Here YHWH is the presence of the future which is liberating and with full of potential for future which is brimming with vigour.

Divine name is the possibility of future for all humankind. The future which liberating and ever-widening brightness of hope. This God is the God of all "to be's", which is yet to be and fullness to be. People in bondage were the given the name of God as "to be.." which is actually "to be liberated", "to be set free" and "to be-come." This is God is our God who is willing "to be" with us and to possibilize a future full of freedom. In Richard Kearney's words God is the "God of the Possible*."


* - cf. Meaning and Etymology -
* - Kearney, Richard. The God Who May Be A Hermeneutic of Religion. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

A Short Kiss Good Night

"he went up to him ... and kissed him ..."
Mk 14:45

Mk 14:43 - 15:1

How do we judge this kiss? What did the receiver and the giver of this kiss experience at that moment? These questions have haunted many, however this could be easily voted for a very sensational kiss in history given the volumes of commentaries and arts that had tried to comment as well as freeze the moment of that kiss. 

This infamous betrayal story deserves a rereading in and through the apocalyptic context of the gospel of Mark. In which, preceding to the whole passion narrative we encounter the apocalyptic sayings of Jesus in chapter 13. Among these sayings the real 'night' appears in Mk 13:24-26 where Jesus foretells the coming of an apocalyptic total darkness before the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds. This apocalyptic discourse gives us one keyword that is Mk 13: 5, 9, 23, 33, 35, 37 "Watch."This word echoes down to the last moment of Jesus' arrest in the garden (Mk 14:34-38).

A close 'watch' to this event is of paramount necessity because this is Apocalypse which is immediate and which is happening in the here and now. Listen to Jesus in Luke where he says it is "your hour and the power of darkness" (Lk 22:53). The power of darkness is the now, which is the Apocalypse, an end of history. A total end of history which is also a irreversible, which is the end of the present world and beginning of a new, total new history and world.

Biblical history begins with a separation, cursing, nakedness and fleeing in the garden. Now this cursing, separation and fleeing in nakedness everything culminates into total darkness in the garden of Gethsemane. But this apocalypse will bring in to force a new world and beginning. Separation begins with a kiss to the master (Mk 14:45) and shame, nakedness and fleeing shown by a apparition that flees the scene into darkness (Mk 14:51,52). But true apocalypse spirals into abyss of darkness by the final and ultimate cursing of Peter.

Peter 'began to curse and swore an oath' (Mk 14:71) which parallels the beginning of history in Genesis. That history which begins as profane history which will face its apocalypse in the new beginning with a crowing of the cock (Mk 14:72; 15:1) and it was morning. This new morning is the new beginning of the new world. Where in this new beginning Jesus goes into oblivion and Barabbas will be released. This is the hope of Apocalypse which brings a new dawn.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Realizing the Kingdom

"The kingdom of God does not come with observation ... "
Luke 17:20-21

Kingdom of God does not come with observation, that is observation in the level of mere looking for external signs this cannot bring us to vision of Kingdom of God. Any sign based Kingdom is Satanic and adulterous (Mk 8:12). When signs and wonders are becoming norms for an display of the so-called Kingdom of God for others, but, for Jesus who was the inaugurator of Kingdom of God the only sign possible is looking into yourself. "Kingdom of God is within you" (Lk 17:21).

Kingdom of God is something we need to realize and reflect upon from within ourselves. It is the vision of Jesus which inaugurated the Kingdom of God in the proclamation of (Lk 4:18-19). This vision of Kingdom of God is enactment of this vision within the community through us and nothing apart from this. Kingdom begins with the embodiment of this vision in our own bodies.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Call as Apocalypse

Every original call from God carries with it a force that is death and life all at once. A definite Call brings with it an Apocalypse of historical now and an eschatological hope for a radical newness of future, which is not new of the old rather it is a definite new of new.
In that newness there could be no returning back to the old in any form. Primarily it is an Apocalypse of the present historical reality, the evidence for which is seen in the apocalyptic language of Jesus Christ who was giving out a genuine Call towards advent of Kingdom of God for which the present historical reality or the present world should pass away. Mk 13:24-26
This Apocalypse will be incomplete if it just annihilates the present and leaves a vacuum. Rather this Apocalypse should pass on in to a emerging of a eschatological new world. This in the vision of Jesus is Kingdom of God.
Once we have received the call in the form of the primordial Logos then Apocalypse becomes imminent and real, a shattering of the world begins, until it becomes impossible to retrace to the original or the old. But this call also that which makes all things new begins to usher in a new world which cannot be in any sense former. Thereby pushing forward severing every old tie that binds us to the old. Therefore after the Call there would be no world as in the former sense of the world. Therfore no returning to the past. Hence a new creation and old things have passed away.
The call of Noah resulted in an Apocalypse and a new world also in the call of Abraham and Moses. This call is directed towards us in the form of "FOLLOW ME".

Monday, 6 May 2013

What do these stones mean ?

Reading: Joshua 4:4-7

While people of Israel were about to enter the land of Canaan they were about to cross the river Jordan. As per the instructions of YHWH priests carried the ark of the covenant and the river was split into two and all the people crossed over. Here the interesting thing is Joshua instructed few people to carry stones from the midst of the river for rememberance and as memorial.

There are few stones in our life we need to pick up from the bottom of the river of tribulation for remembrance and memorial. Those scars in our life that are left behind by our struggles are memorials not for our strength or endurance but for the power of God in display.

We can boldly say that we have been there and HE has done that.

What do these stones mean? Joshua 4:6

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Hope against. ..

Reading: Romans 4:18-20

Abraham hoped against hope and it was credited to him as righteousness. He hoped with a hopeless body, he hoped on God who performs the unbelievable.

It's a challenge today as believers to hope against hope. Lets say believing when odds or against us, contrary to hope. But genuine faith is when our odds don't matter in the face if God's glorious hope. Maybe our bodies may be weak but our minds strong in faith, hoping contrary to hope.

Abraham had a weak body but a live faith. Our weaknesses does not matter when we believe in the one who has given us his word.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ruler and the widow

Reading Luke 21:1-4; 18:18-30
The world we live in has a materialistic overdose everything is measured by how much we own materially. But in reality materials don't matter much for an optimistic life. In the gospels we meet a young man who was rich, young and he was a ruler of some sorts. Many would agree that this Person has best of the possibilities. But sadly he Could not rise up to the challenge of life. Jesus called this young man to share in life in a grand way.  
However world is not without a hope. There is another amazing story which talks about a widow with two coins and nothing to lose. Look at the difference between them, one was rich with material but the other was rich in attitude towards life. She was the one ng man to Share in life in a grand way. 
Look at the difference between them, one was rich with material but the other was rich in attitude towards life. She was the one who went home to sleep peacefully, I bet.  
Talking about sleeping, remember Jesus who was sleeping when everything and everyone was sinking. Jesus was fast asleep,  that was his confidence in his father.   Dear friends we are called for this attitude of life. To live our life to the fullest enjoying each moment and trusting in God.   Just thank God for all the blessing and be filled with Thanksgiving.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Gods in Human Form...

Acts 14:7-18

Paul was called Hermes in the city of Lystra. Hermes is a god in Greek Mythology. Hermes is responsible for bringing messages from the Gods. The function of Hermes is to interpreted the messages of God to Humans. He is someone who is between both the worlds. He brings messages to humans by putting them to sleep and bringing them visions and dreams.

Its interesting to read that the people of Lystra called Paul Hermes because he was the one who was speaking. People of that city found similarity between Paul and Hermes in the way he spoke. They knew that the message of Paul was from the Gods. That could be one striking similarity but there is also another function that Paul did which Hermes could not or would not do.

While it is the function of Hermes to interpret the messages of God to Humans. Paul here interprets the gesture of that man who was sitting and listening to him. Paul could see that this man had faith to be healed and he healed him in the name of Jesus Christ. Here again Paul unlike Hermes did not put that man to sleep but rather he woke him up to reality and made him realize that he could walk again. This is something distinct of Paul.

The people of the city thought that God's have come in Human Form, which speaks for Paul's true representation of his maker. Paul represented not Hermes but God. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

the other side of the Sea...

"When they found him on the other side of the sea..."
John 6: 25

John 6: 25-35

People found Jesus after he fed them with bread on the other side of the sea. They were looking for him in earnestness finally when they found him on the other side, they could no longer accept him (John 6:60). What went wrong so quickly?

If we take this whole episode in an allusion to the Exodus[1] of the people of Israel from Egypt, people of who followed Jesus had their liberation when they had fullness of bread. They were seeking Jesus across the sea. When they found him Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." Now the words "comes" and "believes" carry a huge significance in the light of Exodus event. The word "comes" in Greek means "to follow" and "believes" means "to entrust". In Exodus event people of Israel were given "manna," bread from heaven, but later they murmured and did not trust God. Here in the same way Jesus had given them bread, now if they need life they need to follow and trust him in order to receive eternal life.

How are we coming to Jesus? Are we coming to him as to follow or to receive something? How are we believing in Jesus? Believing as in to completely trust him and entrust our life? He is the bread of life and in order to receive it and be free from hunger and thirst, we should receive Him.

[1] Many scholars have consensus on this view for example cf. James F. McGrath, John's Apologetic Christology Legitimation and development in Johannine Christology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, 172-182.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Straight from the heart...

"...from your heart."
Mt 18:35

Mt 18:21-35

Jesus Christ demands that we forgive our brothers and sisters from the heart. From the heart!! Act of forgiving is something close to performing a miracle or more than performing a miracle. Forgiveness is a God-act, in this act of forgiving we become a child of God.

For Peter Damian, God forgives our sins which is a miracle in the moral order. Demons cannot forgive sins because it is difficult for them. He states that it is difficult to forgive than to perform any miracle1. William Placher beautifully states that when we forgive, we take humanity of the person seriously2. Another person writes that forgiveness "deconstructs the absolute categorization of the other as sinner and constructs new perspectives"3 for the other. John Caputo in The Poetics of Impossible writes that God's power to forgive is to make sinner as if he did not sin, that is God alters the past and makes it as if the past did not happen.4

That is precisely why Christ demands that we forgive others, because God forgives us endlessly and eternally. When we forgive from the heart we perform a miracle which is of the highest moral order. When we forgive we take a person seriously and when we forgive we construct new perspectives for the other. We have the power to perform this miracle. Lets do it straight from our hearts.

1 Irven Michael Resnick, Divine Power and Possibility in St. Peter Damian's de Divina Omnipotentia (Leiden: Brill Academic Pub, 1992), 62.
2 William C. Placher, "Visiting Prisoners" in Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology, ed. Graham Ward (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002), 188.
3 Joseph S. O'Leary, "Religions as Conventions" in Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology, ed. Graham Ward (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002), 419.
4 John D. Caputo, "The Poetics of the Impossible and the Kingdom of God" in Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology, ed. Graham Ward (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002), 474.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

hill on which their town was built...

"They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff."
Lk 4:29

Lk 4:24-30

It is in nature to reject and overthrow our foundation. Here the Jesus' townspeople reject him and try to overthrow him off the city. It is indeed on this cliff the whole city is built upon. Are we trying to overthrow our foundation on which our life is built upon. If we reject our faith which is our foundation then we are shaking our foundation on which our life is built upon. Lets keep our faith on the cliff - Jesus - who is our author and protector of our faith.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Gift and Impossibility

"And he believed the Lord;"
Gen 15:6a

Gen 15:5-18; Phil 3:17-4:1

Gifting for Jacques Derrida is Impossible it is an Aporia (Puzzle). Here God calls Abraham to count the stars in the sky, which is by itself an impossible act. Now to another extreme, God promises those impossible stars would become Abraham's descendents, who currently is without any issue. And Abraham does another extreme, extreme, extreme impossibility, "HE BELIEVED", can you believe it?

God wants to Gift us the impossible and how are we going to respond to the impossible gift. God's gift is unlike anything that would've ever crossed your mind (1Cor 2:9). In order to receive the impossible we must become the impossible and believe our impossible God.

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) french philosopher.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Perfect like father...

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Mt 5:48

Mt 5:43-48

Perfect means to become as good as it is possible says online dictionary in a google search for the word. Jesus wants us to be perfect like our heavenly father. Now, do we understand this state of being perfect, we always kind of play with words like this, for example: nobody is perfect, I am nobody or Practice makes someone perfect, nobody is perfect, so why practice and so on. Being street-wise we know perfection is not possible. But, biblical understanding for perfect is quite different. Bible starts with perfect love (Jn 4:18), what is this perfect love, love your neighbor as yourself (Mk 12:31) and it goes on to add another ingredient for this perfect formula, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mt 5:44).

Jean Paul-Sartre called Ernesto Che Guevara as "complete human being"1, but most people would disagree. However, Che Guevara had worked for his people and their liberation. For him alleviation of hunger was of prime importance, "hunger is a violent condition forced upon the hungry, and he finds violence an unavoidable method to counter that condition." Guevara from a philosophers words was a complete human being but was not perfect, but his condition of becoming perfect is debatable and his work cannot termed viewed in a reductionist mode.

But, Jesus Christ calls us not to love our own but to love our enemies, which is a condition of becoming perfect, which reflects our Heavenly Father's image.

1 Manash Bhattacharjee, "Gandhi and the guerilla," The Hindu, February 23, 2013, Op-Ed.