Prophecy in Diaspora

If , by Diaspora we refer to the Jewish exilic dispersion, and further to include the endless categories of people who are currently on the move , displaced by socio-economic factors, hostile government actions , religious intolerance or cultural shifts, we are basically describing the postmodern human beings who have experienced collapse  in life experiences and a sense of loss of future hope.  When I begin thinking about missio Dei, my imagination centers not on people in faraway places, but on the people who do not fit the standard definition of displaced people, who will cross national borders, but converge on people who feel trapped in, and displaced by the postmodern mode of life. One must not trivialize or diminish the hopelessness and the deep sense of loss and suffering that characterized the exile, nevertheless, it is possible to see a recurrence of a destructive self indulgence and a culture that worships its technological genius and pushes God out the equation.

The modern culture, with its commitment to consumerism, produces a mode of life that systematically produces exiles. In our time we have become accustomed to witnessing an endless parade of displaced persons, unwelcomed immigrants, refugees, and a permanent underclass population. These displaced individuals are not the accidents, they are the inevitable outcome of a consumer driven culture. Our life experiences cannot deny the fact that we live in an era in which more people feel displaced even in their familiar surroundings. The digital age of E-mails, internet and World Wide Web connectivity has created an electronic community that has contributed to and resulted in a shift in communal relationships and the loss of self identity. Since the structures that shaped communities have eroded, it is only a matter of time before people discover their loss of both community and self identity. Modernity has left many people with a feeling of a lost present and an uncertain future.

The postmodern ways of determining truth, defining self and shaping the society, present opportunities and context for missions.  For the church to have an intimate engagement with the people on the move, it must adapt its message to the postmodern holistic approach which employs  rational, emotional  and intuitive intelligence to understanding, while being open to the possibility of exclusive revelation, and allow God the freedom of choosing the various ways in which to reveal  the god -self. Being sensitive to the loss that people experience is to be open to the sufferings of others. It is in the experience of the crisis of loss and suffering that the prophetic message rings clear, that judgment is never the last word. There is always hope for redemption and restoration. Thus, to be missional, is to embody this prophetic manifesto, in the many situations that we find ourselves.