Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Gospel to the Postmoderns (A Philosophy of Potatoes, Part V)

"I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create [national] calamity. I, the Lord, do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, and let it bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the Lord, have created it." Is. 45:6-8

There are always gaps in our lives: gaps of knowledge, of understanding, of ability, of identity and purpose. The truth of things always seems just beyond our reach, lost in a cloud of contradictory witnesses, all shouting their personal preferences in a private language of their own making. The white noise created by their effusions and emanations drowns out the clear cadences of reality, and we despair of ever getting to the truth of things, of ourselves. Our only hope (and what a paltry hope!) is to make our best guess, our best approximation to a target we cannot even see clearly. It is no surprise, then, that we all fall short.

It is no surprise to God either. It is the biggest joke of our contemporary, postmodern world that it thinks itself the new thing when it is really the old thing. The same old thing. The same old unbelief, now writ large. The same old failures: failure to see, to hear, to understand, to believe. All of our newest thoughts are merely a shiny new wrapper on the same old junk. We say that the authorial origin is displaced from us by our excess of discursive derivatives. God put it much simpler: we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are separated from the Divine Origin of Being and Goodness by our primal deviation from His course. Consequently, we have all of us gone astray, even turning others to their own way, every man doing what is right in his own eyes because there is no king in the land. No authorial center to know and reference and be. We lost Him long ago. In our ignorance and arrogance we are lost, spiraling further down into the ever-widening yet ever-increasingly empty abyss of our lostness.

What can bridge this infinite gap? What can slice through all of the derivatives and find the Origin? What can retrace all the traces back to the Source? What can refill every absence with the presence of Meaning? What can reset all displacement and dispersion until the Whole is realized again? What can wash away our Sin? Nothing but the blood, the blood of God in Christ. Nothing but grace, the grace of God in Christ, for in Christ God became flesh and dwelt among us. The Origin became a derivative, the Source a trace, the Whole a discursive displacement, becoming one with the text, the conversation, the discursive field of play, the flesh and blood of men and the whoop and wharf of time. This was not an act of detached Reason, or cold Machine or mere Mind, nor another absurdism of fundamental Chaos. This was an act of grace, grace on the part of One greater than us, greater than all our noise, all our displacements, our mythologies and differances, greater than all our Sin.

Hear the Word speak into our present day delusion and crisis: grace alone is the bridge that spans the gulf of our mighty separation, the sword that slices through the jungle of our seemingly endless texts and myths and positions and postures and preferences and opinions and interpretations, cutting right through all of our jargon and gibberish, navigating the vacuity of our hyperspaces, deconstructing all of our simulations and simulacra, powering through every wall and obstacle that we have erected, crashing through with infinite, furious love and passion and purpose. His head is bleeding. His hands and feet and side are bleeding. His body has been demarcated by those in power. He was wounded for our dispersions, and by His stripes we are healed. By His resurrection, He defeated death and displacement and truth-to-power, so that at His name every knee shall bow and every discourse confess in one voice that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God most gracious. See what His grace has done. What only His grace could have done. It has brought us back to God. Amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment