Sunday, November 5, 2017
Hidden and Revealed
“Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” Isaiah 45: 15
In a context of growing violence, abuse, exclusion, marginalization, oppression, hatred, hostility, and discrimination, with which our signs of our times are defined, some are puzzled and perplexed to enquire, why on earth are all these happening? Some others question, why is God allowing such things to happen, or where is God in all these incidents? Is God present or God absent in such situations?
Dues absconditus, (the hidden God) has been one of the major theological themes with which theologians like Aquinas, Luther, Brunner, and Barth etc. have attempted to unearth and unravel the mystery in this very being of God. Drawing from Deutero Isaiah’s context, where Cyrus, a foreigner was chosen to restore people of Israel from Babylonian captivity, the oracle of the prophet provides a non-neutral statement, where on one hand God hides God’s self and on the other hand God reveals God’s self as a Saviour. Luther exegetes this by saying, God is hidden in forms of reason, and God is revealed in situations of experiences. God hides God’s self in the context of captivity and oppression, and God reveals God’s self in the saving and liberating acts of our times. In other words, when humans create contexts of oppression and violence, God’s self is concealed, and when such situations are addressed and overcome, God’s self is revealed, for only then salvation and liberation are realized.
Prayer: God, our co-companion in our struggles for life, forgive us for constructing walls of oppression and hierarchy in the name of class, caste, gender, ethnicity etc., by which acts we have been concealing you, and challenge us to be the channels in revealing you by partaking and participating along with you in the struggles of our creation and people for justice and liberation. God, in your mercy, hear our prayers. Amen
Thought for further Reflection: How can we creatively rediscover God’s presence in situations of where we think God is absent? Or Is God’s silence God’s absence?
(Written for International Bible Reading Association's (IBRA) Fresh from the Word: The Bible for a Change on Sunday, October 29th, 2017)