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.