Thursday, May 15, 2008

Recapturing The Imagination: The God Who Wins Our Hearts

The God of the Old Testament is the most interesting literary character ever.
He does not speak to us in dry theological treatises and lukewarm religious polemics.
He spoke from burning bushes and stubborn asses.
He wasn't after our minds as much as He was after our hearts.

Reacquaint yourself with His messengers - the Prophets.
One was forbidden to weep for his dead wife.
Another was commanded to marry the cheapest whore this side of Jalan Wong Ah Fok.
One spoke through his tears and sang the blues.
Another was commanded to walk around naked for many months.
Sometimes it was a bunch of grapes.
Other times, it was a broken jar.
Still other times, it was a drought, a famine.
Ofttimes, it was a dreamer who dreamed dreams.
Once it was three children who dared to defy a king from the midst of a fiery furnace.
Finally, can we forget the one who preferred the company of lions than the acceptance of the Religious Right of his day?

The God of the Old Testament sought to recapture our imagination.
So too the God of the New Testament.
He spoke in word pictures about naughty sons and clueless fishermen.
He used children to make fun of the academicians with their large libraries and long scholarly robes
(guess they didn't have name-cards with B.Sc.(Hons) then!)
He cursed fig trees and blessed prostitutes.
He drank with publicans and dined with traitors.
He was seen by His closest friends as a lion at times and a lamb the next moment.
(One even had to climb a tree to see Him...)
He walked on water and shone on top of a mountain.
And finally, He hung on a cross and rose from the grave.

God spoke in pictures.
Theological treatises are for the few.
Pictures and stories are for the multitudes.
Everyone loves a good joke and a witty quip.
Only the religionists hated Him and His endless quips at their expense.
The religionists would've preferred if He wrote theological treatises.
The religionists would've preferred if He was a political critic.
The religionists would've preferred Him to keep His humour in check.
What is this about a plank in my eye and a sawdust in my brother's eye?
Didn't make sense unless you have a sense of humour!
What is this about camels squeezing through needle's eyes?
Again, didn't make sense unless you have a sense of humour!
The religionists have forgotten how to laugh and therefore they've forgotten how to cry.

The elitists have no heart.
God was out to recapture the imaginations of the heart.
But the elitists have none.
They placed their faith on their learning.
They placed their faith on their 'election'.
They place their faith on their libraries.
They place their faith on their long robes
(guess they didn't have name-cards with B.Sc.(Hons) then!)
They thought it was all a big deal.

One day, a wildman with bad hair came along,
Dressed in sackcloth and enjoys a Happy Meal consisting of wild-honey and locusts,
He told them that they needed a bath,
They needed to wash away their pretentious elitism,
They needed to wash away the ink on their name-cards,
They needed to wash away the stench of library books.
They thought that they were a big deal,
"By what authority are you saying all these things!", they demanded.
The wildman cut through their pretentiousness by saying that God can raise up sons from stones.
They prided themselves on their status as apologists, watchmen, authors.
They thought that God needed them.
That they were indispensable.
They didn't know that they were lesser compared to the stones below their feet.
Alas, the words of the wildman did not reach them,
They remained with their elitist club called "Brood of Vipers",
They had no heart to be recaptured,
They had no imagination,
Their ears were deafened by the praises of men that they were unable to hear the Echoes From Eden.
Pitiful and heartless, they continued to boast in their libraries and their 'objective' truths.
They despised the Friend of Sinners and finally they crucified Him.

No comments: