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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

From the point of view of the victim

A quote from Rowan Williams discussion of the trail in Matthew's Gospel.

... God's wisdom is 'kenotic'. It defines itself in the self-forgetting, self-emptying love of Christ the eternal Word, whole lives a human life for our sake and is obedient to the point of death. Such Wisdom will always be an exile, a refugee, in a world constrained by endless struggles for advantage, where success lies always in establishing your position at the expense of another's. The first step in acquiring God's Wisdom is therefore to search for what one recent writer has called 'the intelligence of the victim' - not because it is good or holy in itself to be a victim, far from it, but because looking at the world from the point of view of those excluded by its systems of power frees us from the need always to be securing our own power at all costs. The victim is the person left over or left out after a system has done its job, and is there fore an abiding challenge to the claim of any system to give a comprehensive solution to human needs and problems. {Public servants and politicians take note.} 
Standing with the victim means adopting a questioning stance towards such claims. In addition, as we try to move to where Jesus stands at his trial, we are challenged to listen to what we ourselves are saying. We use the language of God's unconditional love, of God's action submitting itself to be worked out in the history of weak and sinful people, of God's wisdom made flesh in the pain and failure of Jesus' death. "The words are your own' says Jesus. If you means them where do you stand? (pp.45-46)

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