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HE WAS NEVER A CHRISTIAN! His name was Yeshua, the legitimate, not immaculate, scion of a young Jewish couple named Miriam and Yosef and surely an olive-skinned, brown-haired, brown-eyed Middle-Eastern man of medium height, raised in the traditions of Abraham and Moses, David and Solomon and the way of the shepherd, seeking the guidance of a merciful God Neither king nor messiah but carpenter, mason, teacher, philosopher, humanitarian, agitator, an itinerate rabbi with a small group of friends, Galilean, crude-speaking, intense and rabid, adoring and faithful, not cloistered or withdrawn like an Essene community, apocalyptic and dark, suspicious of the spirits of comfort and joy but more like a spontaneous “Reform Congregation” sure that the future of the Hebrew condition in the land of Judea, a dangerous place in a dangerous world, lay not in the power of the secular state nor the rigorous rituals of religion and law, but in the everyday practice of kindness and service, taking care of one another in the presence of Yahweh, in the deserts, the meadows, the clear running streams and for better or worse, the imperial cities of one empire or another, but free of the burdens of ceremony and doctrine and the hierarchical structure of temples and sects He was a Jewish agitator who preached until he couldn’t among the tribes that he knew! Betrayal and crucifixion, though not in his plan, were calculated risks and normal responses to his subversion of power and wealth and tradition and continuing narratives in the evolving sad stories of the ancient and Judean blues! The crazy complexities and the fictional trappings of global Christianity and its evangelical offspring in America today (…arrogant, political, militant and righteous, vindictive and cruel; addicted to the concepts of conquest, conversion and relentless litigation for religious control of our nation and state, of our bodies and minds; to the gut-wrenching image of the impossibly delicate crucified figure, to the Scandinavian good looks of Christ in a portrait or among his disciples…) are OUR crosses to bear in these precarious times, but believe me when I tell you they have nothing to do with the clear moral teachings, the spiritual transcendence or the common sense sermons, bathed in poetics both Aramaic and Hebrew, of Yeshua of Nazareth: Galilean, Israeli, softly serious and warm, a cool Hebrew dude we could all get behind!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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