When we work towards the eradication of structures that perpetuate poverty in our communities, those that divide us, systems that perpetuate classism or any form of caste system, we each become the light that others see around them. This is also how we embody the glory of God as was experienced by the shepherds in the Lukan narrative.
Where state sovereignty as theology would have subjected groups accept their condition with its attending violence and suffering, the micro sovereignty I propose here – not merely as a futuristic idea, but more as a reflection on how subjected groups have dealt with subjection – invites us not to accept that violence and suffering, but to find creative ways out of it through the cracks of Empire.
What if Zephaniah’s addressees had a right to mourn, lament, and rage against the wrath of Yhwh? Afterall, Yhwh’s favor is fickle in Zephaniah, entirely contingent on a particular obedience and only coming after the divine wrath is spent.
This Advent, we are in desperate need of both prophetic voices and prophetic imaginations. Voices to put our politicians in their place and imaginations to help us recognize the shape of God’s hesed in the midst of personal and global trauma.
When we read of God enthroned as the great king, perhaps we can imagine a system of governance where our political rivals are not beaten into submission, but are disarmed by love; where those who are different from us are respected, listened to, learned from; where brute force is neutralized by a refusal to retaliate and is resisted through active non-violence. Toward this end, God is indeed the great leader, the one who models “power under” for all of us.
Advent is the season between the comings, the space of absence in which we await the Divine visitation. Might it also be a space of resistance, wherein we reimagine our identities and, in so doing, perhaps even become the kind of presence in the world we so desire?
Without a sustained focus on material inequalities and repressive state power, the conversation on Islamophobia too easily slips into a mealy-mouthed appeal to diversity and tolerance.
These essays reflect the book of Jeremiah’s attempts to grapple with the consequences of involuntary migration, as well as the challenges faced by Christians grappling with the relationship of the biblical and theological tradition to the contemporary pursuit of justice.
A shared history begins to explain how in the 1960s, Latin American, feminist, and
black radicals, both Catholics and Protestants, simultaneously and independently arrived at a