Meditations and sermons on scripture and faith. Like Adam and Eve, we often feel like exposed and vulnerable strangers.
A Conflict of Understanding
"Reference to the earth in our culture is not individualistic so as to indicate ownership. Our words indicate sharing and belonging to the earth. The coming of Europeans to the land which we used in North America meant a conflict of understanding which centres on the ownership of land. The initial misunderstanding is not surprising, since the first immigrants thought of themselves as coming to take 'possession' of a 'vacant, pagan land'. The incredible fact is that this perception continues after five centuries. Equally surprising has been the historical role of the Christian church in this process of colonization, which basically was a dividing up of the earth so it could be a possession."
From "An Aboriginal Perspective on the Integrity of Creation" in Ecotheology: Voices From South and North; 1994
No longer do we worship a golden calf; now we worship Egypt from whence came the gold, and we bow before Aaron who shaped it into an acceptable form. In the evolving American state-religion, maximizing profits regardless of the socio/economic/environmental costs is becoming not just a sacrosanct right, but a sacred and patriotic duty.
"The Bible makes clear a basic truth that we self-centered humans find difficult to accept, namely, that the natural universe was not created primarily for us. There is no doubt that God wants us to enjoy it and even use its resources to optimize a good life for ourselves. But the ultimate purpose of creation is worship. Nature and all living things were created to glorify God." Tony Campolo
Survivors experience death over and over: their birthdays; their death anniversaries; your shared wedding anniversaries; sudden smells and memories; lonely nights... We feel an emptiness - a void where once they were. A wound that heals but leaves its scars.
At dawn she saw the desecrated grave. It was like he died all over again; but this time she did not even have the comfort of a last ministry to his body. She ran as fast as the hot desert wind to find the others where they mourned in hiding.
"Grave-robbers! I don't know where they have taken him!"
Shocked, two of the Master's students ran before her, back to the violated cemetery. The younger faster one arrived first, but froze before the gaping maw. He looked inside the tomb, and saw the death-soiled rags lying empty, left-behind. The second man too saw the linens as he entered the vault; but he saw something else too - someone had taken the care and time to neatly roll up and place the head-covering.…