Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Liberation: Ours is a faith of foundational stories of a liberating God. When we sink down into these biblical narratives that we are invited to call our own, we can find our own holy path towards God’s freedom, release, and rescue.

Moses’ story is the central story of liberation—an epic display of freedom-seeking up against Pharaoh’s immense power. In his book The Word that Redescribes the world: The Bible and Discipleship, Walter Brueggemann reminds us that, “Moses’ mandate is to confront the exploitative economic power [of Pharaoh] that is understood to be an embodiment of false theology.” In that way, “the task of liberation and transformation of the empire is deeply rooted in a theological conflict between the Lord of Liberty and the gods that endorse and legitimate exploitative economics.” Freedom is the shared work of both human and divine love-enacted.

This confrontation-for-the-sake-of-liberation requires true human struggle and risk. But as Enrique Dussel points out in his book The Ethics of Liberation, liberation should be seen as “creative, inventive, innovative,” an act that “opens the breach, pierces the wall, searches deeper into the unsuspected.” Within the human struggle for liberation, we come up against the limits of our own power but rely on the God-of-creation who perpetually places energy, imagination, and creativity in our midst so that we might participate in God’s liberating love, disrupting the powers of oppression, and revealing the possibility of freedom.

May there be an unshackling of what binds you, an unfettered freedom found within the creative unfolding of this day.

Praying the Alphabet
Light Inaccessible, illuminate us.
Liberating Lord, lure us toward you.
For along the limits of this life
lingers your life-altering, life-bearing
life-giving, life-saving love.
In this life, may there be
rest from our labors,
restoration amid loss,
consolation in long lamentation.
And then, until the last,
may there be love-made-known
at the holy liminal doorway from
everlasting to everlasting.
Amen.