Thursday, January 19, 2012

A church for Jesus?

What church would Jesus attend?
First you have to ask
Would he call himself a Christian?  

We know that he wasn’t big on organized religion
and couldn’t help but run into trouble
with the control freaks (Pharisees like me) that run most churches.

So, whether believer or heathen
- aside from these small problems,
if there were a building that housed holy activities
that might interest an itinerant holy man like Jesus,
what would they be?

Since no day is Sabbath any more,
every day would be a holy sacred day.
with times of silent worship
times of chanting and smoke
times when everyone would drum a great cacophony
til a rhythm would rise and fall and lift us into a place of communal beat.

musicians of all kinds would share their songs of praise
of blues to meet us where we live,
of news to take us far from here
and joyous songs to set us walking into heaven’s day.

There would be stories of great hope in God.
Stories about what God did then in ancient times
-       and does today when we’re not watching.

No Doctrinal preaching would be necessary
because we’d learn about God’s nature and desires
from the sorrows and joys we’d share.

Elders would tell the best stories
of how when they finally let go...
and saw how God was there behind the worry
Children would learn to tell stories that make you look and listen
for the truth running like a rabbit in the tall grass.

There’d be healing.
All kinds of healing.
God moving with and through the healers of various traditions
in the spirit, if not the name, of Christ
without boundaries where love can flow.

The living power of love and trust
would cast out fear and ignorance.
Hands would help and heal.
Art would help and heal.
Food would help and heal.

There’d be only good whole foods.
No food bank charity cast offs.
Buying cooperatives and community gardens would feed our sense of pride.
Vegetarian meals served daily.
and Feast days we’d gorge on meat; turkey, deer, grass-fed cattle,
pickerel and partridge and a pig in the middle of winter fattened from table scraps.

Who would come? The poor, the crazy and the creative.

The poor whose hunger is God’s.
Hungry for good news of a day when
the justice that the rich buy and sell
comes also to their doors.

Inside the doors of this holy place
the floors would shine with respect and dignity and equity.
The crazy - all who feel they don’t fit in  
would find a place where no size fits all
and so even you and I might belong.

The creative would be there
to draw it out in us all.
All People who want - who need  
to meet the world’s pain with beauty and truth.

Young ones would be apprenticed
to the crafts of music, and image, and words and dance.
Soulcraft would be a fountain of ageless wisdom
To wash and send us through the barrens of hope.

Where would the money come from?
Patrons and partners would share profits with prophets.
People whose art is making money would share what they’ve made.
Expenses would outrun the pace of gifts
to keep us always depending on God-surprises
to sustain us - or send us on our way.

Free theatre and concerts would draw new patrons’s pennies
into the daily drama of the church.
We wouldn’t waste time telling our story to the media.
Word would spread and rumours would run and the curious would come.
But there’d be no parking.
Only bike racks and footbaths.

And Jesus would show up.
He’d be the woman demanding the crumbs that fell from our table
and wouldn’t’ go away ‘til she’d turned our hearts inside out.
He’d be the annoying, smelly, begging, babbling conscience
who’d call us to stop and pay attention just when we were well on our way.
He’d be the angry one disturbing our piety and breaking things.
He’d turn the tables on us just when we thought we had peace to serve.

We’d kick Jesus out of course.
For who can stand to look into the face of God and live?
But he’d come back.
The Christ would be just too curious
about what was going on today to stay away.
She’d hear our morning prayers and turn towards us.
She’d hear the noonday drums and would run to meet such friends
and play along.

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