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Monday, December 11, 2006

Father Elijah writes on God's relationship with the Ancient Hebrews

The strange thing is that God starts a dialogue with that bunch of savages. He gets close to them, too close it seems. He sometimes seems to agree mysteriously with the violent wars of men and with the jealous intrigues of women…

Those Pharisees and other hypocrites who accuse Jesus of talking and eating with sinners, they should not have been surprised at all – God has been behaving scandalously for centuries! And amazingly, He actually did get somewhere with those savages. Slowly, always respecting their freedom, He managed to change their hearts and minds, thus preparing them for the Messiah and the final revelation of His true self. And then, in a very mysterious way, He took the total responsibility for His involvement in the dialogue when suffering atrociously on the Cross…

He sort of ‘over-wanted’ the will of His people, by seeing all things in an unknown eternal light, that was revealed at a horrible moment of darkness. His part in the dialogue of violence ended on the Cross where He was tortured to death by His own weight. And His final word about sexual abuse was a silent, deformed naked corpse – showing what abuse really means. I can only be astounded by God’s willingness to dialogue with His folk, and amazed by His strength to bear the consequences of their misunderstanding. It’s completely mad – it can’t be anything else but LOVE.

That’s why He is our Lord, at least my one. Because He dialogues with us today, much in the same way as He did before. He dialogues with the poor and the rich, with the whores, the thugs and also with the normal hard working and loving people. And moreover, with the light we have received, He now sends us to do the same as He did. Of course we think of ourselves as being more civilised as our forefathers. We damn well should be: with all we have received from our God and also from them… But anyway, we’ll need the same kind of dialogue as our forefathers. And we’ll have to look at our crucified Lord if we do not want to go insane. Or should I say: if we want to go mad with the same love as He did?

By the way, this is, objectively speaking, what I miss in the Koran – dialogue. The book of the Muslims is a monologue of God to men without questions. I don’t know what it means, but I just can’t believe in it as Gods word, and therefore I can not recognize the divine authority of Mohammed. But I do respect Muslims. I started to respect religion when I shared a dormitory with a fervent Muslim. He provoked me in a way Christians no longer dare to.

Here in the Caucasus the voice from the mosque of Nalchik, inviting to prayers, is extremely impressive. For me it’s the cry of Saint John the Baptist in the desert. It makes me want to go alone into the beautiful mountains to pray – which is just what I will be doing tomorrow.

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