Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Isaiah 43:1-7

Epiphany 1 - Year C

1) You are beloved: it is elemental to your being, no matter your length of life.

2) You were formed and the former can reject you or redeem you: it’s about the former, not the formed, based on claimed eternity.

Are you going to go with statement 1) or 2)? This choice isn’t just semantics or an illusion based on foreground/background alternation.

Problem: How did I get to be so blessed that a claim of first-cause would lead a creator to give equally created others or whole nations in return for me? This locks me into a relationship of shame that I would need redemption and a great contortion to swear fealty to my big brother manipulating things from afar.

Problem: To claim that we are made for someone else’s glory evidences a great lack of “we”ness or revelation of “our” image. This grand beginning of community extended and welcoming folks to a party becomes a patronizing patriarchy. Reduced from being a responsible party to having no authority breaks whatever potential relationship of growing together there might have been.

When between a rock and a hard place, there is more contentment in belovedness than there is comfort in being an object subject to the timing and whim of another. This suggests a theology of belovedness lives deeper than one of redemption. If so, atonement is constituent of creation, not subsequent to it.

The above seems a bit much. It might easily fit into a charge of over-reaction except that the season of Epiphany is all about over-reaction. We might call it the Magi Syndrome — taking one piece of information in one country or arena of life and extrapolating it for another country or all of time. Hopefully you still have a bit of the Magi in you that will carry a sense of connection past usual boundaries.

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