Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Hour Has Come

by Rev. Loren McGrail

“The prophetic originates with the widow, the orphan, the poor, and the stranger as a voice protesting their marginalization. The indictment is registered against the system that produces the injustice. The faces of the marginalized are the indictment. Everything else is commentary.”
            Marc Elis, Jewish Liberation Theologian

The first miracle Jesus performs is at a wedding in Cana according to the Gospel writer John. He turns water into wine so that the bride and groom can share their celebration with all. When Jesus’ mother notices they are about to run out of wine she goes to her son and pushes him to do something. He answers, “My hour has not come.” Yet as if she knows something he doesn’t she instructs the servants to do as he says and so they bring forward the water jugs for purification and he turns them into wine. They who are the poor, the economically marginalized, who have no more wine, will have plenty to share.

 It is a wonderful joyous story of transforming scarcity into abundance and it will be repeated often throughout the gospel when later Jesus will feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes.

Some read the story of the Wedding of Cana as the fulfillment of the promised wedding feast in Isaiah and the beginning of the messianic age, which will be fulfilled at the “marriage supper of the lamb” (Revelations 19: 7-9). Messianic history begins and ends with a wedding feast where all are invited.

They who have no more wine also have no security from bodily harm from drones that strike gatherings like weddings to target their assassinations. These “signature strikes” are common in our shadow drone warfare across the globe in country’s we are and are not at war with.  In Afghanistan alone there have been 6 documented strikes on wedding parties with over 367 civilian deaths. Funerals make good “signature strikes” too. 

There are many things about the use of drones that are disturbing, disgusting, and horrifying and “signature strikes” should be at the top of the list for their deliberate attack on civilians. And for those who value weddings as secular or religious celebrations of human love, these attacks are particularly grotesque. So let us side with Mary and the one who came to stand in solidarity with the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger and say, “The time has come” to ground the drones, call a moratorium on drone strikes that target civilians. The bodies of the bombed are the indictment. Everything else is commentary. 

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