Benediction Online

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thinking about Haiti
Luke 4:16-21

Epiphany is the season of the year when we think about God’s revelation. Today we hear Jesus reading a scripture from Isaiah,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
and essentially saying – that’s about me! Those who heard him were not impressed and said: “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Of course readers of Luke’s gospel know that he wasn’t Joseph’s son). The angry mob drove him out of town, and were going to throw him down a cliff ‘but he walked right through the crowd and went on his way’ (Luke 4:30).

All week we have seen horrific images of the disaster in Haiti. How is God revealed in Haiti? How can we, or anyone ‘proclaim `the year of the Lord’s favor’ among such pain and suffering?

It seems that pain and suffering is part of what it means to be mortal. Jesus certainly experienced it during his relatively brief mortal life. Why? No-one really knows, and there are no intellectual answers which can adequately respond to the visceral agony we experience. But we can be sure that God is present in human pain… perhaps that was one of the big things that happened as a result of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection – the Godhead fully experienced human pain. Some people think that’s why Jesus cried ‘My God my God why have you forsaken me?’ on the cross - because for the first time he experienced the feeling of distance from God the Creator which is part of the pain of our lives.

Within the Buddhist tradition, the practice of compassion is to learn to look at another’s pain, as well as one’s own, without turning away. This solidarity with those in Haiti and other places of great suffering in the world is in God’s heart. Let it be in ours also.


Post a Comment

<< Home