In less than 24 hours I will once again recall a year past, say: “thank you,” remind everyone of my age –celebrate my birthday, in consequence be reminded again of a milestone in my life journey that is both exciting and demanding.
As I write this my heart beats albeit restlessly because at present my journey is not what I would call ‘well.’ I have a lot of things happening and at times I honestly feel like I a twig in the middle of a whirlwind and at times it seems like I am hanging on a thread. So writing about life as a journey for me is quite difficult, partly because there’s that persistent discomfort that I myself am wishing that I’d be relieved of.
I remember ending my week with a goodbye that underscored a sense of lonesomeness as it means that for a time life will be lived apart from a loved one. While, the following day I started the week with a celebration of my father’s 85th birthday that also coincided with Father’s Day.
Thinking about it now further reinforces my conviction that our humanity if we are to look at human life it can be summed up in terms of relationships. It is in relationships that we discover ourselves and our tenacity to live and make meaning in living –because to be human is to stand in a unique relationship to God, to one another, and to all creation. This, of course is because God, as Trinity, is relational. The perichoretic God makes perichoretic people. God’s being-as-communion overflows in humans’ being-in-community. Therefore we as humans have no being apart from others. Humanity is co-humanity.
I believe I was a high school sophomore when Joan Osborne’s song One of us became a chart topping hit. In the song the composer, Eric Bazilian, tries to deal with various aspects of belief in God by asking questions and inviting the listener to consider how they might relate to God. The song’s intro begins with a serious contemplative question that echoes the deepest yearnings that a lot of people had about what they would like to be set clear about God as the verse goes:
That verse somehow got stuck to my head from that point on, in spite of the irony that it was also during that time that I started to underwent my local church’s discipleship program. And it wasn’t until a few years following my graduation from college, after years of staying away from my community of faith that I came to realize that the answer to the question posed in the song’s verse is a unanimous: “yes,” because Scripture testifies that truth in the person of Jesus Christ.
“…let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!” – Amos 5:22
When I was younger I used to be scared out of my wits whenever I heard a ‘fire and brimstone’ sermon preached at our local church’s pulpit. God knows how much I tremble at the very graphic descriptions of the ‘end times’ and the Day of the Lord.
I felt my heart beat faster than usual as I clapped along to 2 sheer minutes of booming beats that reminded of the loud noise that led to the crumbling of the walls of Jericho in the Biblical narrative. I thought to myself that this must be the deafening sound of urgency as I stood on the midst of sea of people in red shirts last, December 12th 2009, where I joined environmentalists, activists, and concerned citizens in the observance of the Global Day of Action (GDA) on climate change, where people all over the world will be doing simultaneous actions to highlight the urgency of climate action at the time of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ever since 2005, the GDA on climate change has been observed every year at the time of the annual United Nations Talks on climate change. People from all around the world have come together on the same day to demand urgent action on climate, and climate justice, from the governments of the world meeting at the annual climate talks.
For Filipinos the reality of climate change and its impacts like that of extreme weather events have robbed most of us of our property, our sense of security and of the lives of the ones we love.
I was on my way to the seminary when I was stuck in a traffic jam.
Apparently, there was a vigil at the Boy Scout Rotonda in Timog Quezon City, people mostly ‘lefties’ that I’ve known in my past life at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines are congregating in the area with their flickering candles in a ceremony of solemn luminosity that spells out the word: ‘justice’ in the brick-layered pavement of the rotonda.
Little did I know that what I saw as an obstruction on the way to ATS was a reaction to what is now known as the bloody Maguindanao, massacre. Unaware of the significance of the vigil I proceeded to class –and then as if by divine intervention our class of the Book of Exodus endowed our study with this staggering message: God heard, God remembered, God saw, God knew. Continue reading →
It has been said that Genesis is the book of beginnings, and as an individual who is embarking on a new beginning I would like to use the word – serendipity to describe how timely the study of the book was for me as I start my life as a theology student at Asian Theological Seminary.
I have always believed that I already know the book –after all, I could no longer count how many times I have finished reading and hearing about it, and how many times I have studied it at church. After all –most of the Bible lessons that I’ve heard as a kid or have watched in Superbook are there: Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel; Noah’s ark; Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Rebecca’s marriage with Isaac; Jacob and Esau; Joseph the dreamer etc.
Re-reading Genesis has jolted me out of my ‘born again Christian’ complacency, that has been borne out of my belief that I already know all that there us to be learned from the book as I have already studied it a number of times at church. But as I have said earlier, reading it again in light of its original context has opened my eyes to God’s story that seems to be intricately related to me and how I live my life as a human being, especially if I were to relate it to its overarching theme that I consider as: creation, fall and reversal.