From humanity’s fragmentation to its wholeness (Deuteronomy 3,18-end; Acts 3,1-4,4)
The book of Deuteronomy informs us the struggles, often fights of the Jews, when they occupied the promised land. ‘Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms wither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.’
This is a very important passage (and pair with the New Testament reading from Acts) to read in Easter. The taking possession of Canan raises the question of ‘identity’. Sadly, humankind exists in fractions. The very fact that Israel had to fight in order to occupy the land shows this. The greatest challenge (looking at our world) is that there is no unified identity. Peoples are in struggles for their habitats (economical, political, geographical). Biblical Jewry was thriving for their national identity.
When we read these passages through the eye of Easter, we can see that God’s plain points beyond their emerging identity as a nation. We should pray for being able to see how limited a community’s identity, when it is in a constant fight for ‘survival’. Our notion of being ‘a chosen people’ or religion by God, in the long run, necessarily defers from that of God.
In Acts, apostle Peter points to a new, universal identity emerged in and through Christ. ‘The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus.’ He and the disciples heal in Jesus’ power. The miracles of unconditional healing tell us that in Jesus humankind became (can become) a unified family. The Resurrection as God’s final blessing − through the chosen people of Israel − can unite us: all fractions. There is no other story telling which is capable of achieving this universality. And outside this resurrection, the nations are exiled into permanent rivalry and bloody wars for their claimed resources.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..