Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Monday, May 11, 2020

may we see him in his coming

And the thing that really cooked people’s noodles wasn’t the question “is Jesus like God” it was “what if God is like Jesus”.  What if God is not who we thought?  What if the most reliable way to know God is not through religion, not through a reward and punishment program, but through a person. What if the most reliable way to know God is to look at how God chose to reveal God’s self in Jesus? 

Nadia Bolz-Weber


I wonder if we could pick Jesus out of a crowd
If he were wandering around today
Would we have a clue it was him

I met a man once who said he had seen Jesus
He was a homeless wanderer, who showed up on my doorstep
Deep in the wheat country of eastern Washington
Looking for a meal

“I met Jesus once” he said
“We ate beans together at a homeless shelter in New York,
  He is going by the name of ‘lightening amen!”

I don’t find that as far fetched now as I used to
For if we manage to banish
From out well programmed brains
The beautiful, blond, white, sanitized Jesus we were raised with

If we realize that Jesus was a middle eastern Semite
Born in poverty
Raised, mostly likely, in a non-descript middle class neighbor hood

If we remember he hung out with a rough crowd
And was a rebel with a cause

If we can grab hold of the fact that he was
Such a rough looking character that Mary mistook
His resurrected self for the gardener

If we can see him standing there
Soil clinging to his clothes
Dirt under his nails
Hair a rumpled, black, curly mess

Then we know
That the Jesus who shows up is rarely what we expect
And that the God he embodies
Is probably equally rough around the edges
And weird
And unexpected

Weird enough
To love the unlovable
To forgive the unforgiveable
To accept those who are unacceptable

Weird enough to go all the way to cross
To conquer hate an fear

Weird enough to side with the poor not the rich
The vulnerable not the powerful
The outcasts, not the inner elite

And Weird enough to
at the same time
love the rich, powerful, elite
with a love that will not let them go

So here is to the Risen One
Whenever, and wherever he shows up

May we see him in his coming
See him in that 82 year old woman sewing face masks
See him in that young man buying and delivering groceries to his vulnerable neighbor
See him in that low tech livestream from the little church in rural America
See him in the gutters and the ghettos of America

May we see him in his kindness
In his compassion
In his forgiveness
In his generosity
In his love

May we see him
The dirt of the tomb still clinging to his clothes
And with dirt under his nails

May we see him
Not as we expect to see him
But as he really is

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