Giving back is important

Giving back is important

By REV. DR. RICHAR... | 30 July, 2016

All of us feel honoured when invited to a grand banquet held in honour of a marriage, but a greater honour is possible. Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (Lk. 14:15). Jesus frequently compared the kingdom of God to a feast. Sharing a meal with everyone is an expression of respect and equality; it symbolises breaking barriers of social distance and of purity and pollution. The description of a feast helps explain what is involved in following Christ and spreading His message of God’s love for all. Feast presents an image characterised by abundance of food and drink, capable of satisfying human hunger. Christian understanding of human nature emphasises that we have been created for fellowship with God; He alone is able to fill the emptiness plaguing us. We may try to fill this void with other things, such as financial success or powerful status, only to find out that in the end these will not and cannot satisfy. The image of feasting, thus, points to the fact that we are seated with Christ at His kingdom table, and God is the object of our desire.

Feast also evokes the idea of invitation. We must receive an invitation for a feast, acknowledging that we are wanted and welcomed, before we can participate in the celebration. Jesus himself ate at the table alongside those regarded as social outcasts, affirming that people rejected by society are welcomed by Him. Jesus affirmed their identity and dignity of all people created in God’s image; a deeply profound matter. Refugees, orphans, widows, the homeless, and those hidden away in institutions, need more than just food and shelter. They need relationships, friendships, and communities which will allow them to contribute and belong. God’s grace revealed in Jesus Christ is the reason we all are invited to participate in the feast of the kingdom of God; let us be equally hospitable to all.


There is 1 Comment

The absolute hollowness of Dr. Howell's mini sermon conforms to the practice of the Christian Power feasting in India for more than two centuries. The feast consisted of all the Christian churches and all the Christian missionaries approving, encouraging, blessing, the active looting, taxing, impoverishing, famishing of the Indian people and draining their wealth to finance the Industrial Revolution. The Kingdom which Jesus speaks of has nothing to do with feasting, either as metaphor or in reality. It is a call for the search of the mystic experience of self perfection. The logion 3 of the Gospel according to Thomas, in the Nag Hammadi Library collection, spells it out in a magnificent poetic, anagogic statement by Jesus. Not only did the Christian Power, with a good conscience, deplete India of its prosperity, but it did not have the least Christian compassion of offering even one shilling as restitution, or as compensation, or even as a capitalist's investment, after India became independent. Dr. Howell illustrates the utter incapacitiy of the white Christian Man to make good, even symbolically, the immense sin of depredation wrought on Indians and on other colonised victims like the Caribbean slaves. There was never any feast during the time of the Raj. It was a time of glory and profit soullessly punctuated regularly with man made famines. The question urges itself on the conscience: what explains the insensitivity of Dr. Howell to the immensity of the Wasteland into which the festive followers of Christ "transubstantiated" the prosperous India which welcomed them for peaceful trade and for the mutual exchange of material prosperity?

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