Saturday, July 02, 2005

pictures of poverty2 - the kids

Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

in light of the live 8 concerts that are happening all over the world today, as well as the G8 meeting that is happening in edinburgh from july 6th - july 9th, i am posting some of my pictures from kenya. a number of these pictures i have not released yet, some of them i have shared on prior blogs.

as the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words", so my hope is that these pictures of poverty will be etched in our hearts and minds, so that we would take the long walk toward global justice.

but this walk will be hard, and many will probably fall to the wayside, after the music dies down. i believe that the only way to walk the long road to justice, beauty, love and peace is to follow the path of jesus. which is why i have been doing an entire series of messages on "rediscovering what it means to follow jesus through the book of mark." they can be downloaded for free.

here are some quotes from one of the talks in the series "undomesticating the good news":

"My main hope today is that we would never be a people who domesticate the gospel by relegating it to another time and another place only, for that is simply a slap in Jesus’ face, a misunderstanding of his mission, and a cheapening of his sacrificial life, his death and resurrection. Jesus said “the time is now, or the time has come”; the word he uses here is kairos. And it is in the perfect tense (the time has come), which according to Greek specialists “is not so much indicating past action as such, but the present state of affairs resulting from the past action.”

In other words, the poor and oppressed people in Galilee and other places where Jesus took his message understood the good news as vincluding not just a new personal sense of forgiveness and a promised afterlife; they understood it to mean something much more than that! They understood that it meant new economic realities, new social realities, and new political realities. But because we have failed to pay close attention to Jesus and his context, we have often reduced and regulated the Good News to another time and another place instead of here and now. And that is really sad.

The people that Jesus first brought the good news to were people much like those who grow up in the ghetto’s of our world, the over 3 billion people who are living on less than 2 dollars a day, who are just trying to get by, who daily live with economic and psychological strangulation.

DO WE HEAR THEIR SCREAMS, or are we deaf to them?

DO WE SEE THEIR DIFFICULTIES, or do we turn a blind eye?

Hugo Assmann in his book “Theology for a Nomad Church” insists that awareness of oppression must be the foundation of any contemporary theology, he says, “If the state of domination and dependence, in which two-thirds of humanity live, with an annual toll of thirty million dead from starvation and malnutrition, does not become the starting point for any Christian theology today, even in the affluent and powerful countries, then theology cannot begin to relate meaningfully to the real situation. It’s questions will lack reality and not relate to real men and women.”

Another quote from the same talk:

"This Good News is cosmic in nature, where the one who is stronger and greater than John the Baptist overcomes the devil in a reversal of the creation story, and this good news is something that you and I can become a part of: BUT if we want to be followers of Jesus, it requires not just assent of the heart, but a fundamental reordering of socio-economic relationships. In time we see that the early church got this, for in Acts 2, people were selling their houses and land and giving their money to the apostles to redistribute, so that no one was in need."

Another quote from another talk in the series entitled: "reality invades illusion":

Dom Helder Camara has put it aptly, “I used to think when I was a child, that Christ might have been exaggerating when he warned about the dangers of wealth. Today I know better. I know how very hard it is to be rich and still keep the mild of human kindness. Money has a dangerous way of putting scales on one’s eyes, a dangerous way of freezing people’s hands, eyes, lips, and hearts.”


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Ariel said...

Thank you for the thoughts and pictures, J.R. I hope this kind of thinking (and theology) will be a lasting effect of the Live 8 effort.


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