Not My Jesus?

thXNYB5Y5M

I listened to a podcast called Evangibros that I highly recommend.  I encourage all to listen to one in particular regarding the confrontation of racism.  The link is below:

https://www.facebook.com/evangebros/

Why? Because it is challenging, deeply thought provoking, and hopefully uncomfortable.  The hosts, Don M. Schiewer and George M. Benson invite a very close friend’s of Don named Chris Sanchez.  I have intentionally prayed, fasted, and gratefully sat in silence in hopes to see and experience the hurt in not just Chris’ eyes but also through the rejected Nazorean.  The hope of this podcast is to invite all respectful discussion with open ears, minds, and hearts.  For the ‘privileged’, like myself, it is simply best to be still and silent.  And so I have, for many days pleading in silent prayer to combine my experiences with Chris’ knowing we are more like Christ when we seek community despite our various differences.

The first stone cast by Chris towards my already broken glass house of piety crashed in as a reminder of how oppression blossoms within Liberation theology.  Ancient Jewish perspectives, and yes Jesus was a Jew, draws Western Christianity kicking and screaming into the forgotten Jewish mindset of the blood, sweat, and heavy tears wrought by enslaved captivity.  Way back then, daily life was lined with rotting corpses pegged and tied to crosses on many Roman roads dominating this culture of oppression and racism.

I have replayed the words gracefully spoken by Chris over and over in my prayers and recognized that beautiful portion of Liberation theology within my own reality and my personal intimacy with Jesus the rebuilds the castle in my heart starting with a rejected cornerstone.  Dare we consider that all lines measurements and lines founding this church are trued from this one stone? Boldly, I say “Yes!”  I bless the words and work of Chris and will continue to pray towards a reparation for the sins of our own nation.

I cannot help but see that Liberation theology is a very human hope firmly adopted by the promise revealed at Mt. Sinai.  It was a necessary theology of hope of healing the sickness of hate, greed, and power nurturing racism both then and now. My rub with Chris came quickly in the program when he rightfully said, “You don’t have a right to criticize the how he protests nor why (paraphrasing here). Furthermore Chris’ quote preceding this the program stated:

“If your not showing up where the oppressed exists and are moving, then I’m not interested in your gospel; I’m not interested in your Jesus.”

Ouch.

Seriously America, we have wannabe Nazis parading and spewing their hateful rhetoric. When did vomiting this vile ideology that our Nation (was way too slow) to war against now require police protection at tax-payers expense for a sick minority’s freedom of speech? Chris was there protesting. Thank you my friend. Chris also said it felt good to release his anger and yelling at the wave of right hands raised in salutes to “Heil Hitler!”

This is certainly not my America…

My rub with Chris? Protesting is a double edge sword glimmering with both edges of the sacred and profane. My very needed portion of my conversation with Chris is discuss the dark seduction of protesting even he unknowingly admitted to when it felt good to release whatever brought some catharsis.  So what would Jesus do Chris? ( I apologize for what may seem as a very trite question I assure you it is not.)  The sacred consciousness that inspires Chris to protest is surely from above since silence conspires with acceptance of oppression. Yet, I have serious concerns for limiting one’s Christianity to Liberation theology.  Jesus is still doing something new. The work of this living Christ of God is still perfecting holiness within. No?  Does the end justify the means?  Does trading violence with violence beget peace? “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)  Did not our Jesus conquer this darkness by solely trusting His Father by offering perfect love as a perfect sacrifice?

So… Do I know a different gospel or a different Jesus?

imagesCAV60KRO

His,

Chris (Clody)

 

Advertisements

Hawks on the hill

img_9533-v2.jpg

Patient, are his long shadows,
spreading like fingers,
resisting the sun.
Until,….
the hunt begins.

Blind are his prey.
That scuttle below,
these Hawks on the hill.
Silent dark sentinels,
staring omnisciently,
blotting out the sun.

Yet,
I and a few souls see them,
we watch
and inevitably wait.

Their gaze,
is a searing burn,
their hungry caw,
soon shivers my soul.

The hour comes,
like a thief,
filling blue sky.
with small black crosses,
swirling above…

Their lethargic prey,
amble nose to ground,
gorging full bellies,
distracted and unaware,
to what plummets above.

Talons spread,
barely whistling,
through the cool, rush of wind.
Immediately crushing,
then piercing,
the hunted.

The quick kill,
is painless,
like a hot knife,
through warm butter.

Yet,
I see their precision,
an exquisite scalpel to the tumor,
and watch,
wide-eyed,
their kill.

Looking up at me,
with satisfied gazes,
that scorch my skin.
Contentment proceeds,
with a quiet laugh,
as my soul takes notice.

The Hawk,
arises with severed flesh,
leaving just a scar,
to tighten skin,
to widen pores,
and pull upon senses.

The hunted are left,
miraculously healed,
that is,
until tomorrow…

Dreams begin,
awakening the hunted,
to a newer normal,
a different reality,
a new way to forage.

For tomorrow transforms,
through stretched skin,
making the hunted,
a little less blind,
and a bit less deaf.

Blessed are the hunted.

birds-of-prey_987d9906.jpg

By Chris Clody
3/16/18

Why God?

With recent violent events, doubt of God finds a well worn path into hands clenched in prayer. It also feeds a disparate clarion call to atheism. Both perspectives distill down to an Ancient Prosecutor ironically pointing a finger proclaiming, “Why would God allow evil?” The air-time through social debate continues to rage exploding to a fevered pitch while ignoring the simple physics of an opposite and equal question, “Why would God allow good?” As if “good” simply generates itself and abstract evil is the only worthwhile conversation.

Is that really fair or at least logical? I would wager everything I “possess” in challenging the now prayerfully wounded or skeptical hearts in daring to consider when good things happen. If this contemplation was allowed equal entrance into the weary conscience, fearlessness would replace doubt allowing depthless diving of thought into the ever-expanding nature of a loving God.

So, let’s take a breath in both good and bad times an remember His hope in the logos,Be still and know I am God.”

The First Ecstasy

imagesmarystatueface (1)“Let it be done unto me.” O Mother how your words changed faith to hope. What was it like Mother? To be overshadowed, completely enveloped in the embrace of the Trinity? Reveal to me Mary the warmth and the light that captured you in ecstasy between creature and Creator! Who, but a favored soul, determined before all time, could stand in the rapture of pure love of indescribable joy? To know that your humility would impart innocent flesh to God’s perfect sacrifice requiring perfect love. What was it like to witness the Trinity transfigured about you while infused with the knowledge to hold this moment close to your heart. Still, for those eyes undimmed by doubt, your immaculate heart can be seen like John beholding the Lamb of God for the very first time. Just as it was with Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, who recognized the consolation of Israel when the infant Savior was brought to the temple. Yet it was Simeon who saw your heart, the favored one beating in tandem with the Holy One of Israel. Two hearts, the sacred and the immaculate inexplicably bound, synchronized in love. Foreseeing the very sword that pierced your Holy Son would forever martyr your immaculate one so your thoughts could be revealed to the generations that call you blessed. Hastened by irresistible charity to assist your once-barren cousin at the sixth month of her anointed pregnancy, it was not only Elizabeth that recognized the approach of your favored heart, but her unborn John who leapt at the tandem heartbeats of humility and promise proceeded by the Spirit’s warmth. Just as John the Baptist was pre-elected by the Father to clear a path for His Begotten, Mother, you were deemed ever more so. Simeon and Anna both envisioned the contradiction that you carried, one that would cause the rise and fall of many men. It seemed apropos and justly ironic that your fiat of blind trust to carry this world’s redeemer, for which no hospitality was offered in time of delivery, that you therefore accepted without hesitation in the ark of your favored womb. How you now reveal the wonders of your favor Mother, that transform the Ark of the Covenant with your sacred flesh anointed before time began. How two cherubim surely overlooked your every step preventing any man’s touch to corrupt what God had made holy and perfect. For it was not only your flesh that you imparted to the Begotten in perfect harmony with the Spirit but also your humility that the Father favored you to share.
To have this revealed in words is surely but a shadow… but to live through is pure ecstasy. I can now only surmise the moments of ‘ecstasy’ described in other lives following your God-man’s footsteps are but a tearful glimpse of the moment you and the Trinity joined as One.
Bless you Mother.

His,
Chris

The Alien Within And Among Us…

“Where are you from?”File photo of displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walking towards the Syrian border
This questions seems innocuous enough and at the least a good conversation starter. Yet as immigration policy rages, what first seems like a harmless ice-breaker has devolved into an interrogation. The thought of one’s ‘legal’ status may soon infringe on inalienable rights inseparable from all humanity.
The quick answer to my inquiry could be, “from my mother’s womb. Duh.” Yet as phobias continue to grow from the little seeds of isolationism, it shows itself as the weed it truly is. Actually, the big picture of the garden of humanity draws another conclusion to that there is the only one answer to the query above: “We are from the mind and heart of God.” Let that sink in…
Immigration is a serious and difficult question living amongst the few with violent intentions. Violence is draining our attentions from the better ideals of man as resources towards protection seem to justify responses from the beat cop trolling gang territories to strong language tweeting provocations from the Oval office.
So is this a religious argument, secular, or both? If you think that question is as easy as the first producing the misunderstood “church and state debate”, then I hope these following words haunt us:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr., 1963.
So what does this have to do with immigration? Everything and nothing at all. It clearly sums up the ideals infused into man and has everything to do with the perspective towards immigration. It has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the treatment towards every citizen.
The question above dares us to plumb our very understanding of our nation’s creed, that equality, dignity, and justice belong to all. Although this statement was made about fifty-five years ago it isn’t novel but rather breathed into the American fabric embroidered by our founding fathers.
Fear has an insidious grip causing hesitation towards the things we might lose. Remember Lot and Abraham? Lot held to the weeds while Abraham was grateful to experience and peace of mind of God’s work in the garden.
I contend we therefore are all aliens becoming more forgetful of our immigrant history. We are learning to justify the selling of the soul of inalienable rights for the delusion of fearful isolation written as ‘rights’.
So what exactly is the alien within titling this post have to do with this writing? Everything and nothing at all. Before I answer consider the following scripture:
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”(Luke 1:41-42)
What (fetus?) or who (child?) were dwelling these two wombs? What is the big picture? The miracle of created life and treatment with dignity blessed by inalienable rights or the concern of our ‘rights’ drawn up by the hand of man?
The question, like our judgment, has no negotiation with the mind and heart of God. Maybe the words of Mother Teresa can help neatly tie these thoughts on immigration and abortion together when quoted as saying, “The so-called right to abortion has portrayed the greatest of gifts, a child, as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.”

th5KFFQ804

Are aliens a competitor, an intrusion, and/or an inconvenience to the to life we now experience upon the roots of our alien ancestry? Are inalienable rights degraded by the rights of man? If equality, dignity, and justice destroyed for the most vulnerable then how can the mind and heart of God flow towards any neighbor blind to their personal identity that makes them grateful to be created? What phobias are we stubbornly housing that deny another human the right to experience true freedom?
Exactly who is our neighbor?
He (Jesus) replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50.
Can we contest that the will of God comes from His very mind and heart?

Is it not our grateful duty to welcome the stranger, feed the poor, cloth the naked, visit the sick, and care for the widows and orphan?

Have we forgotten that the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
written-bottom-statue-liberty_289345c7c12bcc74.jpg
Become Love.

Peace,

Chris

How Can this be?

How can this be?!
How can this be?!
That the Lord of Hosts
Would reveal Himself to me.

Can this truly be?!
Never knowing a man,
Yet now I will bear a Savior,
Fruit of Redemption grows within me.

Can this truly be?!
The mother of my Lord
Come to me in charity,
As the miracle leaps within me!

Can this truly be?!
Emmanuel infleshed,
Crying in the cold night air,
Looking up into my eyes at me.

Can this truly be?!
This baby blessed through me,
Israel’s consolation!
Lord let your servant depart in peace.

Can this truly be?!
That you worry for me,
Searching and could not find me,
Not knowing my Father’s house calls me.

Can this truly be?!
That you don’t understand,
I and the Father are one,
To carry your sin and set you free

How can this be?!
How can this be?!
That the Lord of Hosts
Would reveal Himself to me.

https://goo.gl/images/UKZj19

By Chris Clody
1/24/18

All I Want Is All Of You

Call To Me
(Inspired by Anima Christi and Unknown Author)

imagesCAD1VLCL

Within all your memories,
I stand behind waiting,
Before all your dreams,
I beckon,
All around you,
My love surrounds,
Everything you need,
I exist within.

Give me your soul,
Let me sanctify you
Take, eat and drink,
Let me save you,
Wash with water from my side,
I will baptize you,
Feast upon my Passion,
I will strengthen you,
Pray dear servant,
I will hear you.
Enter within my wounds,
I will hide you,
From the wicked foe,
I will defend you,
Remember my saints,
Follow me,
In your hour of death,
Call to me!

Forever and ever, Amen.

By Chris Clody
12/14/17

**Note: Inspired by Anima Christi (St. Ignatius of Antioch) and unknown author.

images (4)