Experience as a Source for Theology – Engagement in everyday life 

  
– samuel thambusamy 
Moses went out among his people and he saw their forced labour 
The Israelites were still groaning because of their hard work. They cried out and their cry to be rescued from the hard work rose up to God. God heard the cry of grief. 
I have clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I have heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. I have come down to rescue them…
Theology cannot be done in the closet. Theology cannot be done in a cubicle. Theology cannot be done in a vacuum. Theology must be an enterprise by the people, of the people and for the people. Theology must address the immediate concerns of people.
God is interested in the everyday lives of people. God’s heart is broken as he sees-hears and understands the brokenness in the everydayness of life. We must be broken by the things that break the heart of God. Therefore, Social engagement is important for doing theology (thinking thoughts after God). 
More often than not we don’t see the brokenness that is there all around us. We don’t see because we turn the other way. We pretend that it doesn’t exist. Sometimes, we don’t see because we lack sight. Our privileged position in life blinds us and does not allow us to see. 
Moses growing up in the palace did not see – hear – and understand the pain and agony of people crushed by slavery. He looked out of his window but could not see – hear – understand the groans of the people. He was blinded by the grandeur of the pyramids. When Moses went out among his people he saw their forced labour. Suddenly, he had sight. Not just sight but also insight. 
We must walk out of our closet. We must leave our study desks. We must be go where people are. We must experience the everyday struggles of people. It is the everydayness of life that we encounter a God whose heart is broken by the struggles of people. We listen to his heart beat. As we encounter God amidst the struggles of his people, we are broken by the very things that break God’s heart. We are disturbed by the very things that break his heart. We get angry with the very things that he is angry with. We get sight, insight and the grace for action. 
Devotion and critical reflection must lead to Participation Theology is done in the everydayness of life. It begins by listening to God’s heartbeat. It begins by gaining SIGHT and INSIGHT. It begins by being broken by the very things that break the heart of God. Theology is thinking thoughts about a God who is broken – troubled – and angered by the reality of brokenness all around us.

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