Holy Week: Meditation 4
In the mystery of incarnation, we Christians believe that God bonds forever with humanity. God doesn't simply enter humanity when Jesus is born and then depart when he ascends: God takes humanity into God's self in an indissoluble union. So during Holy Week, as we consider the sufferings of God in Christ nearly 2000 years ago, it is appropriate to ask where humanity is being beaten and bloodied today ... because these assaults are assaults on the God who is forever bonded with humanity in suffering.
One such place is Eastern Congo. Congo Peace and Enough provide a good introduction to the ongoing atrocities continuing there ... millions dead, mass rapes, complicit neighboring and distant governments, corporate corruption, environmental destruction, exploitation of resources, heartbreak on a scale that's hard to imagine. Fifteen hundred people died yesterday due to violence and displacement, and fifteen hundred more will die today. And tomorrow, unless ...
And so this prayer ...
God our Creator, of all your masterpieces of creation, Africa is among the most wonderful. Forests, plains, rivers, mountains ... elephants, giraffes, gazelles, lions ... weaver finches, acacias, banyans, chimpanzees ... and living among them since the dawn of humanity, tribes of beautiful, creative, resilient people ... from the Twa in the central rainforests to the Khoisan and Fulani in the deserts to the South and North. And there in the heart of Africa, a fertile jewel called the Congo.
Our hearts ache for what is happening there. Can it be, Living God, that in every rape, you are being raped? That in every killing, you are being killed? That in every dirty diamond and coltan mine, you are being exploited? That in every child soldier being kidnapped and forced to kill, your future is being stolen? That as the international community turns a blind eye and falls asleep, your beloved Son is being - again, as in that first holy week - abandoned by his friends to weep alone and be betrayed into the hands of those who only want him to exploit him?
Living God, with us in our suffering and dying, rouse us from our sleep so we may stand by Africa, and especially the wound in its heart in Eastern Congo. Begin by moving us to learn what is happening there, and having learned, to care, and caring, to advocate, and advocating, to persist until change comes. May resurrection come to the people of Eastern Congo, and to all those who suffer in Africa. And may resurrection come to the rest of us, so that we realize that if you are bound to those who suffer, so are we. In injustice and suffering we are bound to one another, and you to us, Most Merciful God. May we be instruments of your peace, through the Prince of Peace. Amen.
[For my previous posts on the Congo, go here.]