Nate Kerr has a new article up at The Other Journal responding to the issue in Haiti, and particularly underscoring the theological importance of prayer and solidarity in relation to such events of radical suffering. Its definitely worth reading. Here’s just one quote:
At the heart of all Christian prayer is the cry “Thy kingdom come!” It is with this cry that we move out into the action that speaks to God by waiting upon the free coming of God. It is with this cry that we speak to and for the coming again of Christ—that decisive action of God by which the powers and principalities of this world are to be subverted and creation is to be opened anew to its revolutionary transformation into new life. In prayer, we come to participate in this revolutionary transformation. Thus, Barth says, the action to which Christians are called by Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit is a specific kind of revolt. Specifically, the Christian prays in “revolt against all the oppression and suppression of humans by the lordship of the lordless powers,” against those powers that have gained their lordship by virtue of their refusal of humanity’s and creation’s relationship to God. At the same time, the Christian prayer of revolt is rooted in an equally specific kind of hope. The Christian acts against the lordship of the lordless powers not so as to win her own freedom from their rule (as if by some equally autonomous power), but rather in the recognition that she has been implicated in a struggle that refuses their rule as false and illusory, in recognition that she has already been liberated from their rule in the original revolution of Christ’s cross and resurrection. For Christians to cry, “Thy kingdom come!” in revolt against the lordless powers is to act “in the sphere of freedom” from the powers which “is already given to them here and now on this side of the fulfillment of the prayer.” Prayer, Barth is saying, should make revolutionaries of us all. Indeed, what kind of an invocation of God’s kingdom would it be if it did not testify through specific ways of working and living and loving to the path through and out from under the lordless powers—cosmic, political, and religious alike—that enslave the powerless poor by presuming to deny the resurrection of the crucified?