Round Table with Oscar
December 9, 2016

Called to be extremist

That is the name of your calling and mine. I know that it does not sound decent, correct, or normal, nevertheless, right now in SVG, we need to become extremists, a “bad word” people.

Nowhere in the scriptures do we find the term used in a good sense, but sense does tell us that in so many ways the God of the Christian Scriptures is an extremist. Just put aside the normal thinking cap of the Christmas commodity, and see if the real gospel story is not a document of extreme conduct by an almighty, most high and all creating, controlling person. God, in a baby delivered by a peasant girl, threatened by a political tyrant, {{more}}befriended by shepherd scum, given diplomatic honour by unknown “maji” from who knows where, laid in a bacteria rich manger…. it is not just that the environment of the birth and life of Jesus were, as one writer put it, “of no reputation”, disreputable; it is that whoever put Jesus in that social, physical and spiritual position, must have had extremist motivation. The language of John’s gospel, for example, is very weak, describing God’s conduct simply as “hegapesen”- “so loved” (the world). John 3:16. To put it plainly, the story of the birth of Jesus, which we celebrate as Christ-mas, is the portent of a strategic extremist liberation campaign, targeting us as recruits, aimed at abundant living for the whole creation/cosmos. All the angels, and visions and prophecies, and pregnancy and refugee states in Egypt and other particulars, and the invitation from Jesus to “join/follow me,” seem to lead us in one direction.

To become God’s Extremists: to love like never before. Looking at what a weather trough, simply bringing days of rain, can do to lives, homes, communities, and infrastructure in our riverine and coastal areas has to make us reflect more than superficially, on where we are heading. To hear police theories that illegal drug disputes are connected to doers of our massacres; to countenance the slaughter by a troubled teenager of multiple productive and caring persons; to pass through a year-long general elections contention and the state sponsored tactics of obstructing smooth legal outcomes; to hear and feel the barely turning, poor grinding wheels of the economy; to take part in the practices of patching deep social and spiritual ulcers with ‘sticking plaster,’ to live in today’s SVG at “Christmas” 2016 is to turn away awhile from the commercial, political and religious distractions and to go in thought to some manger with a newborn for hope in God.

To dream of life abounding in love and peace and justice and an SVG rolling in the sun, eating from its land and sea, hugging a future already dawning, trusting and cooperating with the will of God, has to mean turning aside from the trash that we now call living well and committing ourselves, not to the flashy promises and empty deceptions, of comfortable professional conmen in business, and politics and religion and charities.

When we reflect on the history of our own persons, the new travails of our land, the veiled hatreds growing in our hearts, we know that we need other options. When we stop to think how the All Mighty took the form of the common lowly foetus and infant, an extreme reversal of position, this Christmas must be calling us to reach down too, to trust and love, and watching out for the troubled and taking our commitments to the extreme. Let us reflect some more on our call to God’s extremism.