Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The cross is the way of the lost

The cross is the staff of the lame

The cross is the guide of the blind.

The cross is the strength of the weak.

The cross is the hope of the hopeless.

The cross is the freedom of the slaves.

The cross is the water of the seeds.

The cross is the consolation of the bonded labourers.

The cross is the source of those who seek water.

The cross is the cloth of the naked.

The cross is the healing of the broken.

The cross is the peace of the church.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



In a certain village in Umbria (Italy), there lived a man who was always bewailing his lot. He was a Christian, and found the weight of his cross too heavy to bear.

One night, before going to sleep, he begged God to let him change his burden.

That night he had a dream; the Lord led him to a warehouse. "Go ahead and change it," he said. The man saw crosses of all sizes and shapes, with the names of their owners. He picked an average size cross – but when he saw the name of an old friend written on it, he left it aside.

Finally, as God had permitted, he chose the smallest cross he could find.

To his surprise, he saw his own name written on it.

Reflection Questions

* How big is the "cross" that you carry?

* Under which circumstances would you ask for a different cross?

* Bring into your thoughts another person who has a cross. Would you give that person a lighter or heavier cross? Why?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Merchant of Venice Story-Synopsis

Merchant of Venice Story - Synopsis

Antonio, a Venetian merchant, complains of melancholy; his friend Bassanio asks for a loan of 3,000 ducats to travel to Belmont to court the beautiful heiress, Portia. Antonio agrees, but says that he must borrow the money from one of the city's moneylenders because all of his ships are at sea.

Antonio and Bassanio approach Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to ask for a loan. Shylock hates Antonio and tricks him into promising to forfeit a pound of flesh if he cannot pay in time. Shylock's daughter Jessica elopes with the Christian gentleman Lorenzo. Bassanio, accompanied by friend Gratiano, departs for Belmont.

Meanwhile Portia is also melancholy because, according to the terms of her father's will, she must marry whichever man chooses the 'casket' (box), out of a choice of gold, silver or lead, which contains her portrait. If a suitor chooses incorrectly, he is condemned to remain unmarried forever.

The Prince of Morocco comes to Belmont and chooses the wrong casket; meanwhile, in Venice, rumors swirl that Antonio's ships have been lost at sea. The Prince of Arragon also chooses the wrong casket, and then Bassanio arrives at Portia's house. He and Portia fall in love, and he makes the correct choice (the lead casket), but their happiness (and that of Gratiano, who will marry Portia's lady-in-waiting, Nerissa) is interrupted by news that Antonio has lost all his money and failed to pay the debt. Shylock is demanding his pound of flesh.

In Venice, Antonio is taunted by Shylock, who refuses to listen to reason. When Bassanio returns to Venice, Portia disguises herself as a man and secretly follows him. The Duke of Venice presides over the trial. When Shylock refuses to accept Bassanio's offer to repay the loan, the Duke announces that he has called on a legal expert to settle the matter. A letter arrives from the expert, saying that he has sent one of his brightest pupils to pass judgement - the pupil is Portia who arrives dressed as a young male lawyer. She reads the contract and declares that Shylock is entitled to the flesh. The moneylender praises her but Portia then adds that the contract says nothing about shedding blood, so Shylock must cut the flesh without making Antonio bleed or else be arrested for taking a Christian's blood.

Shylock angrily retreats and says that he will take Bassanio's money, but Portia denies him this recourse, declaring that he has conspired against a Venetian citizen's life and thus his own life is forfeit. However, the court shows mercy - Shylock may keep half his wealth, but must convert to Christianity.

Not knowing that 'he' is his wife, Bassanio is induced to give the 'young lawyer' a ring that Portia had given him. Gratiano gives Nerissa (as Portia's 'clerk') a ring that she had given him, and the two women return to Belmont. When the men get back, they are accused of having given the rings to other women. Eventually however, Portia reveals the deception, news arrives that some of Antonio's ships have been recovered, and the company celebrates happily

This story explains the cruelty of the profit driven system which always looks for the flesh of the poor, this is the story of the 'modern development'. Even though story ends in positive note, the poor masses of today are helpless to come out of the crutches of the flesh eaters of today. Do we have the courage to engage ourselves to fight against these systems.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Thanks to Director, Principal and Faculty and my student friends….

Ecumenical Dimensions of Gurukul....

26th January 1950 is one of the most important days in Indian history as it was on this day the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state. In this day India became a totally republican unit. The country finally realized the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the numerous freedom fighters who, fought for and sacrificed their lives for the Independence of their country. Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. We should remember the role of Ambedkar, the great architect of our constitution and the champion of the subaltern, which affirm the democratic, secular, social and republic nature of our contribution.

Acts of Apostles 16:11-40 talks about Paul’s a new journey towards Philippi, a colony of Rome. An imperialistic and colonized power relationship was existed in the Philippi. Paul’s journey towards that city is an entry to decolonize the colonized religion and politics. It was a journey of decolonization through confronting the colonized powers. Two things have to be taken care of with this passage. One, there was no synagogue and worship and, two, the spirituality was intertwined with the market.

1. Girl symbolizes the spirituality of the colonized world. A spirituality of profit, which was going on in the market with the permission of the colonial powers. A kind of market driven spirituality was existed and it never challenged the existing structures which nurtures the market driven spirituality. If we read the previous verses we could see another spirituality which was a riverside fellowship and an entirely different spirituality. But she was liberated from the spirituality of the colonized world through the intervention of Paul and Silas.

2. A market controlled Law and Judiciary of Philippi. Paul and Silas were dragged towards the market and the market becomes a court for liberating the girl from the colonized spirituality. A market driven or profit driven judiciary system was there and this judiciary system which act as a weapon in the hands of the dominant and colonized sectors of the society. It becomes the mouthpiece of the colonizers and not speaking against the powerful systems of the society and religious and political laws which dominates and discriminates others in different ways. This law will be active when their profit or economic gain will be in danger and at the same time it may indifferent or passive when justice is denied or life is in danger. Laws of our country should enhance the life of the people in the nation and should reflect the discriminations in the name sexuality, religion, wealth, and many other things. Delhi high court verdict on article 377 and the Right to Information are some of the laws that protect the rights of the people. But at the same time

3. Politics of the beneficiaries of the colonized world. We read, “But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized…..”. They were accused as prisoners on the basis of different charges which are very sensitive and easy to trap and it helped to target them according to their personal agenda. Their liberative engagement disturbed the religion, law and politics of the colonial rulers. Politics of the beneficiaries of the colonized world will always in such way that their interests are safeguarded. One thing we should see is that the custodians or the interpreters of the law misguided the judiciary and law of that time by accusing strong constitutional allegations against Paul and Philip. When Adivasis of Muthangah, in Kerala fought for their right to live and Police attacked them with guns and other weapons and some of them were resisted with bows arrows and later government declared them in the terrorist list and gunned down many.

4. A decolonizing theological engagement by Paul and Silas. Their journey towards Philippi was a theological engagement and which definitely had a political dimension. Mission in a colonized world or in other words decolonizing the spirituality, religion and politics of that time. A mission towards where everything including religion was colonized and imperialistic and everything valued on the basis of the marketability.

This was the Republic Day Sermon(26-1-2010) preached at Gurukul Chapel as the Student General Secretary

Republic Day Worship

Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute
Republic day worship
Prelude: Instrumental
(This is the 61st year of India being declared a republic. For the people of India this means a togetherness which is safeguarded by the constitution. Over the years the majority of the people of India have not received the protection that has been envisaged by our constitution. This republic day, let us as a people come together for those who have been neglected, oppressed, discriminated and silenced. Let us be proud of what good we have accomplished but be reminded of what needs to be done).

Call to worshipWe have come from many places, we have gone through numerous experiences, we have suffered and we have been overjoyed. We claim one history and even though we speak different languages we have a unique commonness. Whatever colour, whichever language, we share a common call. Our call to freedom of the oppressed and the poor. May this republic day be one of remembering the ordinary people of this land who stood steadfast amidst the bloodshed and the violence. Let us commit ourselves to the betterment of our country, it’s citizens and our neighbours. Amen.

Opening prayer
Creator God, help us to understand the diversity of our country and the way in which we have to live together in a country which is diverse and yet unified. Jesus Christ, inspire us to sacrifice for our country and it’s ordinary people, just as you have sacrificed yourself for us. Holy Spirit, guide us to shun violence and hatred and embrace justice and peace. Amen.

Bhajan (Kannada)
Jai Jagadisa namo Jaya
Taraka deva namo
Pujita vandita Isha
Aikyatha shakti namo
a) Jai Jagadisha namo
Sharanam(3) anantam
Shri pita deva namo (jaya)
Aganita gunadhama jai
Shri paramesha namo
Jai Jagadisha namo

b) Sharanam(3) anantam
Shri suta deva namo(jaya)
Karunasagara yesu
Taraka shakti namo
Jai Jagadisha namo

c)Sharanam (3) anantam
Pavana atma namo (jaya)
Paripujita varadata
Parishuddhatma namo
Jai Jagadisha namo

d) Sharanam(3) Saccidanandam
Vishwa vidhata namo(Jaya)
Paripalaka paramesha
Pita, suta, atma namo
Jai Jagadisha namo
Meaning: Praise and worship to you, O Lord of the universe. You are worthy of worship and reverence. Hail, the great uniting power. Homage of surrender to you, O everlasting God the parent? Ground of abundant virtues, Praise to you O heavenly Lord

Thanksgiving Prayer
Loving God, in times of conflicting views, you have guided us to pick what is right and act accordingly. Whenever tempers have flared you have cooled us down with self understanding and mutual respect. The times we were struck by natural and human made calamities, you have given us the strength to stand fearless amidst the ruins. Lord God, our words of gratitude will never measure up to what you have done for us. We hope that the sincerity of our hearts will suffice for the moment. Amen.

ConfessionL: We stand exposed by the deeds we have committed to further our own interests. In the process we have ploughed over the dreams of the people of this land, who don’t have the resources to fight back.
C: Have mercy on us O Lord

L: By choosing not to fight for those who have been abused and neglected, we have done the same to them as well. Every passive disinterest we have shown is in essence an active betrayal of the poor and the oppressed.
C: Have mercy on us O Lord

L: Our pride in the nation has not translated into a pride for doing what needs to be done. We have sought to capture and snatch what we need through violence and tried to justify all of this by misusing the element of pride.
C: Have mercy on us O Lord

L: Help us God to have the courage to be exposed and to accept what we have done and not done. Let us not remain enthralled and fixated on wrong claims of our republic. Let us rather be humble and forthright of what we are.
C: Have mercy on us O Lord

AbsolutionContrary to our actions, God is slow to anger and pleased to forgive and offers chances to mend our ways. Let us hold on to these continuous acts of mercy from our Lord and try to stand firm in our commitment to change and act well. May God forgive our sins and offer all of us a chance to make a difference. Amen.

Bible reading: Acts: 16:19-34.

Reflection Rev.Sajeev Thomas (Student General Secretary)

Affirmation of faith ( Standing)
We believe in our Mother God who has given us the country and the land that we live in. The struggles of many have resulted in the luxuries that we enjoy now. Many have been jailed and tortured for our independence. God stands still in God’s unflinching commitment to freedom.

We believe in Jesus Christ, the liberator, who has given us the inspiration to fight all injustices that exist in our country. His sacrifice on the cross was for one and all and it calls us to do the same for our nation, for the world and it’s inhabitants. Jesus’ fight against injustice led him to the cross just like we are called to be crucified for the freedom and good of all.

We believe in the Holy Spirit who renews us and reminds us of our commitment towards the poor and the excluded. No group may, due to it’s colour, religion, sex or caste be deprived of opportunities in this country. Any sinister move against such groups should be fought with the confidence of the backing of the Holy Spirit in our fight against unjust forces.

We believe in the church which is a place for all to assemble for peace and love. All are welcome here and no one can be excluded from the presence of God. The church stands for providing God’s presence and peace to anyone who seeks it.

We believe in the good of our country and the potential it has to be a place for diversity to co-exist in all it’s magnificence. India has been a battle ground of violence but it has also instilled the sense of peace and non-violence, caring for mother nature and living in peaceful co-existence. Amen.

Congregational Hymn (Standing)
I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.

I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Who shall I send? Chorus

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord. If You lead me.
I will hold, Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne My people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them,
They run away.

I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them,
Whom shall I send? Chorus

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame,
I will set a feast for them,
My hand will save.

Finest bread I will provide,
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them.
Whom shall I send? Chorus

IntercessionL: God our protector, we pray for our country which is celebrating the completion of sixty years as a republic. But in our celebration we do not forget those who have not benefited from the creation of this republic and it’s constitution. Even though the constitution of India was made to be inclusive, many people have been excluded because of the unjust power structures in our country. We pray for all such communities and individuals who continue to suffer from the non-implementation of laws in our country.
C: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L: God our companion, we pray for peace in our country which is experiencing communal violence, caste fights, gender inequality, terrorism, freedom struggles, state related disagreements and quarrels with our neighbours. Peace for one is violence for the other. Help us to initiate peace which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable.
C: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L: God our peace maker, we pray for our neighbouring countries. They are struggling due to poverty, terrorism, and calamities. As we celebrate, let us not forget that we live in an environment of commonness and that mutual respect and genuine concern will show the real growth of our republic. Help us to diffuse volatile situations rather than introducing tensions.
C: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L: God our comforter, we pray for the people of Haiti who have been crushed in body and spirit by the killer earthquake. Help us to stop questioning ‘why’ and see ‘what’ we can do to help now. Facilitate us as a people to feel the intensity of what has taken place and to help in the rescue and rebuilding of that great nation.
C: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

L: God our teacher, we pray for the Gurukul community. Guide us to understand the differences of our diverse backgrounds. Make us understand the common things that we share. Help us to be a thinking, reflecting and acting community. May we contribute in a meaningful way to our country and its people.
C: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord’s prayer in Hindi (Standing)
Hei hamare baap tujo asmanme hei
Tera naam paakma na jai
Teri badshat aaye

Jeyse teri marjee asmanme puri hoti
Yesechi teri marjee jagat me puri hojai

Rojki roti hamare aaj hamko dede
Jeevan ki roti tuhe tuhee hamara bal hai

Jeis tara ham aapne apradeyonko maph karte
Oos tarahe hamare aapaarando ko maph karde
Hame tu pariksha me nadal
Parantu burai se bache
Rajya prakaran aur mahima
Yuganug teri ho amen

Benediction (Altogether)
Light will sweep over darkness, happiness will engage fear, stability will replace insecurity, honesty will stall mistrust and justice will prevail in due time. Go in peace. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Prepared by: Rev.Fr.Jerry Kurian (DTh Candidate)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reflections In a Lake

Reflections In a Lake

Cain and Abel came to the banks of an enormous lake. They had never seen anything like it.

"There's something inside it," said Abel, looking into the water, not knowing that it was his reflection. Cain noticed the same thing, and raised his staff.

The image did the same thing. Cain stood waiting for the blow; his image did the same. Abel studied the surface of the water. He smiled, and the image smiled. He laughed out loud, and saw the other imitating him. As they walked away, Cain thought:

"How aggressive those creatures are who live in there."

And Abel told himself:

"I'd like to return, for I met someone both handsome and in good humor."

Ps.82:3,4. Right to Live and God’s Justice.

Ps.82:3,4. Right to Live and God’s Justice.

“Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute” (V.4)

Establishment of justice is one of the concerns of the Psalmist and psalmist asks for God’s intervention to establish justice so that the weak and powerless may be able to live. The importance of justice in the human realm is emphasized in vv.3-4. In v.3 “give justice” and “maintain the right” are parallel, just as the nouns “justice” and righteousness are frequently parallel(Amos 5: 7,24;6:12).

Justice and Relationship.

Justice and righteousness are not just abstract principles or ideals; rather, they have to do with the very concrete matter of how human beings relate. For the God of Israel, the criterion of justice involves what is done for the weak, the orphaned, the destitute, the needy (Ps. 9:7-9,18; 10: 17-18; 68:5-6,113:7,146:7-9). Here again, the establishment of justice and righteousness is the measure of divinity and of human life as God intends it.

Justice, Power and Life.

V.4 allows even more specificity. Justice and righteousness involve the very concrete matter of how power is distributed in the human community, and thus the matter of who has access to life. In Biblical terms, only persons whose lives are threatened need to be rescued or delivered. For instance, the Psalmists often plead in life-threatening situations for God to rescue them from the wicked. The verb “deliver” is used to describe what God did to save the Israelites “from the hand of the Egyptians” (Ex.18: 9-10). The word “hand” describes “grasp”, or more to the point, “power”.

The Gods should have delivered the weak and needy from the power of the wicked (v.4), but it was precisely the wicked to whom the Gods have been partial (v.2). For the God of Israel, things are right in the human community when power is distributed in a way that all persons, especially the powerless, have access to the resources that enable them to live.

Right to live and the justice issues are intertwined and one cannot separate justice from life. One who travels with God should seek justice so that God given life may be nurtured.

Thought of the Day- Denial of Justice is denial of life because God is a God of Justice

Prayer- God of Justice, be with us in the struggles to establish Justice to all. God of deliverance, challenge us to engage ourselves in the struggles of the weak and powerless so that everybody may live according to your will.

"Climate Change" Prayer

Prayer for Our Climate

Prayer. O Parent God, protect the earth and all its abundant life. Help us to conserve nature and serve all creation; Transform our greed to consume into a thirst to share; Wash us clean of carelessness and cruelty. Bless all our efforts to protect our environment.

All . May the seasonal rains continue to nourish the lands. May the glaciers continue to adorn the mountains, rivers flow unhindered, pouring with life, and people live in harmony with Mother Earth. O Lord, protect the earth and all its abundant life.

Prayer . God, save our shores from the weapons of death, our lands from the things that deny our young ones love and freedom. Let the seas of the Pacific Ocean carry messages of peace and goodwill. Turn away from our midst any unkind and brutal practices. Let each child swim and breathe the fresh air that is filled by the Holy Spirit.

All . O Lord Jesus, bless all who are makers of that inner peace that breaks down the barriers of hatred, and unite us with the open arms of your cross, that all the peoples of the world may live happily together.

Prayer. God, We listen to the cry of the poor, who continue to suffer because of injustice. We listen to the cry of the Earth, which longs for liberation.

All. Help our people to continue to affirm that an alternative way is possible and deepen our spirituality and commitment for life.

Final Blessing (Altogether)

Go and choose bread and wine every day.
Go and choose it to renew the world.
Go and choose it to live justly on our planet.
Go and choose it because Jesus is found within it…..Amen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Genesis 4: 1- 10 Denying Right to live to “Worthless’

Genesis 4: 1- 10 Denying Right to live to “Worthless’

“And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him” (V.8b)

This story portrays the breakdown of communication and it also explores the reasons too. The issue ‘otherness’ is prominent here as Cain looks his brother as ‘other’. Cain is in dialogue with God on two occasions, but both times there is not an equal dialogue. Both times God forces Cain to speak. In this text looking is the supreme form of expression for a good relationship. Cain doesn’t look directly at his brother Abel, but lies in ambush for him like a wild animal prowling for prey. God’s speaking in 4:6,7 lays bare Cain’s anger and bad intention. God urges to do well, to lift up his head and to look at his brother, and God warns Cain .In God’s speaking to Cain ,’your brother occurs 3 times. Where as Cain only speaks once of ‘my’ brother, and it is in negative sense. In his words and actions Cain never behaves like a brother. God urges Cain to accept Abel as his brother and to behave as a brother. Abel, as his name indicates functions as the ‘worthless’ one .He is also continuously referred to as ‘brother’, and never as a person in his own right, with a value of his own.

As we have seen, Cain’s posture o (not) speaking and (not) looking plays an essential role throughout the story. His ‘empty’ speaking to his brother in4:8a, which represents the non-existing or empty relationship with his brother. Cain both directly and indirectly, treats Abel as completely worthless. The causes underlying the murder and the consequences that follow it are more central to this story than the murder itself. Broken relationship caused the destruction of the communication and where starts the actual annihilation of the brother.

Rejection of Brotherhood

Cain is described as negating his brother: he rejects his brotherhood with Abel through his looks, his words, and his final deed, the murder of Abel. Envy can be the one reason for the rejection of the brotherhood. Cain is envious not because Abel is more successful, but because God looks at a blunderer like Abel while ignoring Cain. A participatory community living is essential for a meaningful communication.

Justice Issue.

While God encounters Cain, he retorts, without any qualm of conscience, that he does not know where his brother is and that he has no responsibility for his brother(Am I brother’s keeper?).God constantly asks the question, Where is your brother? The unity of the entire human race and the mutual responsibility of the individuals with one another are grounded on God’s will. The society is grounded on the fact that humans are keepers of one another. Any action against this relationship is injustice. The injustice done by the humans against humanity is violence against God, against the structure of the universe, and even against oneself.


According to the Old Testament view, blood and life belong to God alone; wherever a person commits a murder he/she attacks God’s very own right of possession. Domination means negating the mutual love and responsibility. God confronts Cain with God’s relationship to his brother.

God’s search for weak In this story Abel is not in the limelight. Abel means vapor. His name strongly suggests that in the eyes of other people he does not amount to much. Cain does not look directly at his brother Abel but lies in ambush for him like a wild animal prowling for prey. God reproaches Cain for not looking at his weaker brother. God does give attention to this so-called worthless one. God’s inclusive nature strengthens the communication process. This story shows that God holds out a plea for brotherhood between human beings in spite of their differences.

Prayer- God of Communication, helps us to see life’s interconnectedness and dignity of God given life in our relationship.

Thought for the day- Give respect to life and don’t look anybody as ‘other’ but see as brother or sister.

Kings 21:1-3 Land Invasion is Denial of Life

1 Kings 21:1-3 Land Invasion is Denial of Life

Ahab said to Naboth , “Give me your vineyard, so that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house..”(V.2)

Along with Isaiah 5:8 and Micah 2;2, this story is a reminder that offenses against the heritage of the defenseless are offenses against God. Ahab’s offer seems fair enough. He gives Naboth a choice of a better vineyard or a fair market price for the property. Ahab wants to acquire the property in order to plant a vegetable garden because it is adjacent to his seasonal residence. He already has a palace in Samaria and one in Jezreel, but now he covets additional property.

The proposed conversion of the vineyard into a vegetable garden, is ominous. It signals that there may be more at stake than a private real estate transaction. Indeed, this story is especially poignant when one recalls that the promised land is regarded as an inheritance given by the Lord (Ex. 15:17,32:13,Lev. 25.2)

Powerful denies the right to live of the weak.

It is not merely for sentimental reasons that Naboth wants to hold on to his inheritance; it is a religious obligation for him to do so, and it would literally be profanation for him simply to trade it away- Lev.25:23. It is his right to hold his inheritance since his identity, faith and spirituality are related with his inherited land. To alienate and dispossess the land is unimaginable to Naboth. No one in Ancient Israel owned the land; land belonged to Yahweh who gave it to Israel as a gift. Land was for those in the past, the present as well as for those in the future. Land in this understanding belonged to forefathers, to those in the present as well as to the coming generations. Many scholars argue that in many texts in the Old Testament this land is called the inheritance of the fathers. It was that property that was handed down from generation to generation as symbolized by the family tomb. According to this tradition land which was given by Yahweh was inalienable. It could not be sold or given up. Land could only be held in the form of patrimony which could not pass out of the family. It was protected by legislation and theologically justified as well as sanctioned. Therefore the dispossession of one’s family land was considered as a terrible calamity. The dispossession created dislocations and disturbances in all the sectors of Ancient Israel life.

The Land Invasions and the Land Grabbing.

The powerful could do whatever they deemed necessary with the poor and the weak. In such a situation some were reduced to poverty, dependence and others to death. The concept and tradition of the God who owns the land and gives is clouded. The concept of the absolute power of the King was taking shape in Israel. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife enquires of him whether he was not King over Israel, suggesting that he had absolute power and nothing could be withheld from him whatsoever. The Naboth narrative demonstrates a paradigm shift and departure by the ruling class from the traditional social structure to the state of affairs that gave the State advantages over the peasants. The argument that Naboth could not succumb to Ahab’s demand of his family land communicates to the reader a fundamental conflict which was raging between the State and the peasantry for a long time. This suggests that Naboth was a representative of those whose land was grabbed or confiscated by the state. The protest by Elijah could be understood as a demonstration that the state of affairs had reached unacceptable proportions

The land as the basis of human livelihood cannot be separated from issues of the socio-economic, power, justice and empowerment; issues of abuse of power, injustice, disempowerment and alienation as well as dispossession. The land issue trajectory is very much enshrined and entangled within these issues. They are inseparable, intermingled, and interwoven together, so that it makes it difficult to study each one of them independent of the other. Land struggles of Adivasis, land displacement due to mega ‘developmental’ projects, war refugees etc has to be discussed as a theological issue because land belongs to God and nobody could invade or grab the land of the powerless and weak.

Prayer-God of earth, we remember the displaced, refuges, landless millions. Give the vision of Elijah so that we may resist these kinds of sinful powers. Amen.

Thought for the day- Accumulation, grabbing and invasion are against the God’s ownership of land and resources.