We have a history of commentaries that paints real physical need—experienced by billions worldwide daily—as stupid ingratitude. If we ask YHWH for literal water, pleading with him and testing his provision, are we being unappreciative?
The transfiguration stories in scripture, and their mountains, are not places of answers. They are places of raw honesty about our own limits. They are places where words give way to water that flows where it will, to sustain life. They are places of confronting grief and loss. They are places of silence. And these mountains are places to wonder at the mystery of the God who created us to need each other and this earth.
Jesus pronounced judgment on the entire system and dismantled it with a whip – modeling for us how to treat egregious distortions of Christian worship that distract from God’s redemptive work. This is not politics “out there,” in the public square, but in house.
These systems of oppression, much like the golden calf, do not represent the God of love and righteousness. Instead, the fashioning of what can be tamed points to our depraved greed, moral bankruptcy, and the diabolical strategies we employ for survival.
In Exodus 17, the people of Israel confront a barren landscape that seems to guarantee imminent death. Today police violence, especially against Black people, seems to be similarly embedded in our social landscape. This essay turns to Angela Davis to ask if dry land can become springs of water.
“Seek ye first the political kingdom of God and all these things shall be given unto you.”
Through confrontational or subversive tactics, God empowers human agents to restore God’s liberating and salvific will for the creation.
The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cried out for deliverance, and Yahweh heard them (Exodus 2:23). Notice carefully: Yahweh did not offer to comfort the Hebrews. Yahweh did not tell them to endure their situation because things would all work out in the end, or because after death they would be “in a better place.” Instead, Yahweh acted on covenant promises made with their ancestors by entering history.
Our political theology is strengthened by trusting that the words of the Son of Man are a fleshly restatement of what is divinely just and good and holy and lovely. Because Christ has come and his presence is with us, God’s words are even more accessible to us.
The divine violence of the drowning of the Egyptians in the deliverance of the Israelites through the Red Sea raises challenging questions about the character of liberation and the foundation of nations.
In maintaining a faithful Christian presence in the political realities of this age, few things are more important than living and acting in God’s good time, being people who find their life in the living memory of a sustaining past, who patiently wait in hope for a promised future, and who are kept in the present through faith in the daily mercies of One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Christ’s institution of a memorial helps us to do just this.
Luke’s account of Pentecost frames it as the installation of a prophet. As we reflect upon the shape of the prophetic vocation and the content and shape that Luke’s narrative gives to the Church’s calling we will be empowered for our political vocation in the twenty-first century.