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

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Time to be radical

In the Bible we see a “…clash between a radical and normal vision for the future of human life on earth.  The radicality of nonviolent resistance versus of normalcy of violent oppression, and the radicality of peace through distributive justice versus the normalcy of peace through victorious force…”


… the challenge to our species is clear.  Governed not by chemical instinct but my moral conscience, , can we control escalatory violence before it destroys us?  Can we abandon violence as civilization’s drug of choice?

                     John Dominic Crossan (How to read the Bible and Still Be a Christian)



ah Jesus,

humble and gentle one


ah Jesus

who, while capable of domination and violence

chose the way of service and peace


you gave us one commandment


Love the Lord your God

Love, with all your heart, soul and strength


and you suggested that this one love

should lead to other love


that we should love ourselves

as children of Love

and love others as ourselves


this is the radicality of your Gospel Lord

this love


this is the one thing

you ask us to do

think love

breathe love

live love


there is no complexity here

no need to parse this command


it is simply there

clear and uncompromising 

as stark and powerful

as you, kneeling in the dust, washing feet

as clear as you hanging from a tree


how do we miss it Jesus?


how do we skip right over those teachings

that call us to feed the hungry

clothe the naked

house the homeless

heal the sick

welcome the stranger


how do we miss those teachings that tell us

to be generous and take care of the poor


that tell us to turn the other cheek

walk the second mile


how has your gospel of humility and sacrifice

become a gospel of power and accumulation?


how have we allowed the radicality of the Gospel

to be blunted, even muted

by the normalcy of the world?


so that we have replaced plowshares with swords (or guns)

and become people who dominate rather than serve

control rather than set free

exclude rather than include

judge rather than forgive

hate rather than love

violence rather than nonviolence


ah Jesus

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