Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tear Open The Skies and Come Down Lord! - 2

It's been two weeks since the mammoth Hindraf rally in K.L., despite the gathering being declared "illegal" and despite the threats from the powers that be. The open defiance by such a large crowd probably caught everyone in authority with their pants down. So understandably, it took a while before any sort of reaction was forthcoming. But when it did come, boy, did it come with a vengeance! Just a look at this past week's mainstream newspapers will show that the "Empire" is striking back and hard. And, you can almost hear all the voices which were silent during the immediate aftermath beginning to trumpet their righteousness once again. All of which probably point to at least two things:

1. A snap general election is not, and
2. The knives are being sharpened to use the ISA to round up all the dissenting voices in the country.

We have seen this all before in 1987 during the infamous Operasi Lallang and a few times at least in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Call it what you like - a tool, trick, whatever, but here in Malaysia, it's a tried and tested method of "eliminating" troublesome voices so power can be even more entrenched, enabling the regime to continue to rule, while the masses unfortunately, suffer even more injustices.

Already there are rumours going around warning of "trouble" ahead in the next few weeks. Like most Malaysians, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, what are the options for us? What hope is there? For those of us who are Christians, this cry from Isaiah 62:1-9 would serve to remind us well:

"O that you would tear open the heavens and come down...."

The Rev. The Rev. Roy T. Lloyd in a homily from 2002, says this:

"We proclaim God's response to the prophet's cry. "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down...."

In this season of Advent, we declare that the prophet's cry has been answered. It is not answered through warfare or talking with the dead through televised gurus. It is not answered through a quick fling with a stranger or another double on the rocks. It is answered as God comes in the flesh to be among us full of grace and truth.

With real anticipation Christians live an ongoing life of faith, always open to what God promised to do, always trustful because God is faithful. Anticipation means staying awake, being alert and watchful. Thus Advent is a symbol of the Christian lifestyle, not just a mood we experience at a certain time of year. We know that while we despair at many happenings today, our world is not forsaken by God. Our Spirits are turned from despair to trust."

During this opportune moment in Advent, instead of going about as "business as usual" - rather, let's try and read the "Signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3). Let's not bury our heads under the sand like the ostrich, but face up to the realities which have shaped this nation the past 50 years. Let's not be merely contented to survive, but rather choose to be "alive".

And for those of us of other faiths, let's fill our temples, our mosques, our places of worship with heart felt renditions of cries for mercy from God himself and trust Him to listen and come to our aid. Let's not the "Empire" divide us ordinary Malaysians. Because that has been the modus operandi ever since Merdeka. Let us build bridges among the classes of people and stand tall as one people. What more better time than to create a "Bangsa Malaysia".

Let's lift up in prayer all "people of goodwill" (Luke 2:14) - Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, anyone and everyone. Let's pray for all those courageous ones who are speaking up for the rest of us.
"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be satisfied" (Matthew 5: 6)

May God protect us all from the powers of darkness and may God bless Malaysia always.