And now let the weak say, “I am strong”,
Let the poor say, “I am rich”,
Because of what the Lord has done for us…
We sang these words during a worship session at a retreat in Nepal. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and most of us had been working there for a few years. The person leading the retreat had come into the country on a visit and was perhaps experiencing a bit of culture shock. His first words after the worship session were, “What do those words mean? How can you sing ‘Let the poor say I am rich’ when surrounded by such poverty?”
Someone with a different perspective effectively debunked our superficial spiritualising of sentiments expressed in the Psalms. With one comment he used the words of the text to undermine our casual acceptance of what we thought it meant. It was a particularly effective example of ‘deconstruction’, which is such a feature of postmodernism. Read more
In my first post I tried to describe the faith journey that I am on; the journey into an experience of exile stimulated by changes in the world around me and consequent changes within me. I hinted that this is both an enriching and an unsettling journey.
If you had spoken to me several years ago I would have said that faith was about providing answers to very important questions: about God, about humanity, about who Christ is, about how we relate to God etc. I would have considered a faith that did not provide answers to be ‘woolly’, intellectually inadequate and without direction.
I have, however, now come to a different understanding of questions and answers. The problem with a focus on answers is with their finality. They give an impression of having arrived at the answer; that once the answer has been found we now possess the truth. There does not then seem to be much room for progression, nor any desire for movement. Not only does this not sit well in the current cultural climate, but, more seriously, it seems to leave no room for the mystery and incomprehensible nature of God. Read more