22 diciembre 2008

"the people who sat in great darkness...who dwelt in the region of the shadow of death..."

thought one: where's justice? where's hell?

"the chains shall He break
for the slave is our brother
and in His Name
all oppression shall cease"

student teaching in 8th grade American history last year, the kids made me think and blink in all sorts of wonderful ways. Once, when studying pre-Civil War America, one youngster, Aarin, made an interesting comment to me:

"Ha. Wouldn't it be funny if now we paid you white people back what yall did to us and made you slaves and you had to do all our work for us?"

"What do you mean, 'you white people'? Was i there?"

"Naw, but you know, white people."

"But 'we' didn't do jack to 'you.' you weren't there either."

and all of a sudden, here was a 13 year old hoodlum preaching the necessity of hell to me. "them white people" never got what they had coming. yeah, you can say that "America" received her judgment during the Civil War (that's what Lincoln believed, anyhow), but there were some 250+ years of slavery before that, in many countries who never had a Civil War. the actual slave trade ended well before 1860. [of course, i speak of the atlantic slave trade; we know there are presently more slaves than ever before in human history. see also NPR, NG, freetheslaves.net] most perpetrators and enablers of this particular crime against humanity died snug in their aristocratic beds, attended with care by the people they enslaved. (i speculate.)

but here's the truth: most never "paid" the price for what they did. (and who, praytell, can appraise the value of a human?) that is American slavery, a single era among the horrors of our race of homo sapiens, homo adorans.

where is the justice? and how funny that we feel justice must be!

thought two: and so, hell...
“… the original term for hell in the New Testament refers to the site of the cult of Moloch, an idol whose worship demanded the incineration of little children. Pagan priests sounded cymbals and beat drums to drown out the screams of the burning little ones. After the pagan site was finally destroyed, it became an urban garbage dump, where the carcasses of animals and executed criminals were burned. This horrible image was what Jesus had in mind when He warned of hell.”
~M. Tooley, referring to V. Westhelle in December 2008 Touchstone

thought three:

“Surely God will never do wickedly,
Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.
Who gave Him charge over the earth?
Or who appointed Him over the whole world?

If He set His heart on it,
If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
All flesh would perish together,
And man would
return to

If you have understanding, hear this; Listen to the sound of my words:

Should one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn Him who is most just?

Yet He is not partial to princes,
Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor;
For they are all the work of His hands.

In a moment they die, in the middle of the night;
The people are shaken and pass away;
The mighty are taken away without a hand.

For His eyes are on the ways of man,
And He sees all his steps.
There is no darkness nor shadow of death
Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Therefore He knows their works;
He overthrows them in the night,
And they are

He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others,
Because they turned back from Him, and
w o u l d
n o t
c o n s i d e r
any of His ways,
So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him;

For He hears the cry of the afflicted.”

~ JOB 34:12-28

thought four:

“Woe to those who join house to house;
They add field to field,
Till there is no place
Where they may dwell alone
in the midst of the land!

In my hearing the LORD of hosts said,
“Truly, many houses shall be
d e s o l a t e,
Great and beautiful ones,
without inhabitant.

Therefore my people have gone into captivity,
Because they have no knowledge;
Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.

Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself
And opened its mouth beyond measure;
Their glory and their multitude and their pomp,
And he who is jubilant,
shall descend into it.

People shall be brought down,
Each man shall be humbled,
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.

But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.

Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture,
And in the waste places of the fat ones strangers shall eat.

~ Isaiah 5:8,9,13-17

20Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!

~ A rhetorical reflection:

I, who scorn consumers: what do I consume?
I, who hate The Man’s marketing of sin: what alternative have I shown than him?
I, who gnash teeth at the sheeplike, sleeping masses: when have I introduced them to the slumberless God-Man and Shepherd of their souls?
I, who sneer at the proud: what is the wisdom that fills my eyes?
I, who love the bitter and sweet in their rightful place: do I serve it on time?
I, who see good as good and evil as itself: am I sight for the blind?
I, who know the heart of a stranger and fatherless: do I give a home; do I sing the Father?
I, who can pick the lonely out in a crowd: do I make the widow’s heart sing for joy?
I, who scream (on the inside) against slavery: do I free?
I, so frustrated by the grasping and greedy: what do I have that I have not been given?
I, so disgusted by the mindless ignoring: what do I know that I have not been taught?
I, so despairing of the graceless: what am I that I have not been made?

Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy on us.

"Rise, the woman's conq'ring seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.
Adam's likeness now efface,
Stamp thine image in its place..."