Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday in Advent 2

Isaiah 5:13-17, 24-25
v. 13 Therefore my people will go into exile...

Two events shape the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures: the Exodus and the Exile. Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann has written much of the Jewish experience of exile resonating with the state of the church and the world, particularly in its western forms. I'll let him have most of the word today:

The exiles expeienced a loss of the structured, reliable world which gave them meaning and coherence, and they found themselves in a context where their most treasured and trusted symbols of faith were mocked, trivialized, or dismissed. Exile is not primarily geographical, but it is social, moral, and cultural....

The "homeland" in which all of us have grown up has been defined and dominated by white, male, Western assumptions which were, at the same time, imposed and also willingly embraced. Exile comes as those values and modes of authority are being effectively and progressively diminished. That diminishment is a source of deep displacement for many, even though for others...it is a moment of emancipation. The deepness of displacement is indicated, I imagine, by the reactive assault on so-called political correctness, by ugly humor, and by demonizing new modes of power.

Those words were written in 1997 but they certainly remain true today, if not truer given the recent presidential election!

Text is from Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles (1997), p. 2.

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