Tag Archives: Friedrich Nietzsche

Holy saturday meditation: momamic (psalters)


Holy Saturday is the darkest day of the Christian year. The day when Jesus has died and is buried in the grave, and not yet come back from the death. The disciples must’ve been pretty devastated. We know how the story ends, but it’s good to for one day try to imagine their feeling.

My holy Saturday meditations mostly are quite dark, like they probably should be. Last years whe had Peter Rollins’ parable and Friedrich Nietzsche’s story of the madman, which both focus on the more metaphysical aspects of the death of Christ, who is God incarnate; but now I want to focus on our human experience in which it looks like God is dead.

Or absent. where is God when cities fall, when people starve in countries without any water, when no stone is left on the other in the ongoing destruction our fellow humans cause each other…

How hard is it for people who have lost everything and who still trust in God, and yet it seems like all there is is death and destruction. Refugees and victims of war, the oppressed and downtrodden… Those with whom Jesus identified when He shared in our suffering…

the next song captures the feeling perfectly for me:

The man in the moon and the man in the cup (psalters)

His step is fallin’ hard tonight.
eve has long broken,
cold black fell open,

Shine burns through fog
we sought for shelter from that light
It’s time we eat that dust up and take It in
It’s where we come from,
where were goin,
where we sin.

We’re the boots put us on tie us up,
You’re the Feet,
You’re the Blood,
we’re the cup

runneth over, runneth over me.

The cold moon is looking down on me

It shines my crooked face,
my wretched bones, my losing race
There’s no escape,
these cruel eyes of stone.

Alone alone alone with that cold moon.
Oh Lord oh Lord oh Lord
You said You were comin’ soon

Good God it’s You we love yeah.
Good God look up above,
there we are smiling down on You

Step in me fill me up,
we’re the boots
we’re the cup

runneth over, runneth over me

Save us from all we’ve done
with the blood of our Father’s Son
until that moon turns blood red,
until my wretched face has gone and fled,
until that moon is washed anew,
until these bones can rest again with You….
with You ….
with You.

peace

Bram

Holy saturday meditation: Friedrich Nietzsche – the parable of the madman


It’s Holy saturday today. Jesus is dead, lying in the tomb. All hope is gone for the disciples. To think about the desparation of the disciples is not easy. I already did one controversial try with a Peter Rollins parable before, but this year will be even more extreme I guess, with our good friend Friedrich Nietzsche:

THE MADMAN

Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: “I seek God! I seek God!”—As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?—Thus they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Whither is God?” he cried; “I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

“How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.”

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. “I have come too early,” he said then; “my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?”

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]

questions to meditate on:

1.I don’t know about you, but I live in a post-christian culture, in which Christianity is dead. What do you think? Would the madman, being too early in the time of Nietzsche, be on time in 2011?Would the masses agree with him?
2. Think about Peter, who loved Jesus a lot, but who had betrayed his rabbi Christ in the hectic situations of the trial, which is still unresolved while christ is dead and all is lost. How would you feel?
3. Looking forward to resurrection sunday: What would it mean for God to come alive again in our life story? what would be the impact on our life, this society, this planet?