Call Me Cain

Good Friday. How appropriate?  The following poem was inspired by a Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (Faith,Hope, and Love with Fulton J. Sheen Season 1, Ep 2, Love is Hope).

cain_and_abel

Who am I

Who am I?
A descendant,
A wanderer,
Born of pessimism,
From an unfaithful race of Cains.

I am sealed by a mark,
even the Seven Seas cannot wash away.
This incarnate blood of my just brother,
Now becomes my hope.

Hope, not optimism,
Or brokenness from our crushing reality.

Hope is a covenant of Mercy,
An enslavement, a property,
A refuge from the vengeance of men.
Hope, is the burning crimson that stains me,
And warns all who seek wrath,
Belongs to the One who marked me.

What judge?
What authority, principalities, powers
can convict me?
If the One whom I killed,
Is now alive,
then I must be set free!
Has He not been seen walking,
Upon the wings of the morning?
An lo, He has not left me orphaned,
To be convicted by the lords of this age,
For He stands before you now!
Truly Truth sets me free!

Who am I?
I am not my own,
But touched by the very finger,
that etched law into stones,
and love upon my heart.
I am another Cain,
Justly convicted,
and now believe,
I live by the One I slayed.

…but call me Christian.

By Chris Clody
8/23/2019

Advertisements

Communion’s Mystery

You were raised on the cross,
A Lamb led to slaughter,
Sacrificing to fill mankind’s loss,
A Son’s obedience to His Father.

Gone now are the days of sacrifice,
Undone is the curse of the Law,
Satisfied is God’s vision of glory,
That crushed the grip of Death’s claw.

Holy is the seed You plant in us,
That must die in hallowed ground,
Trampled beneath the feet of rejection,
That plows the new wheat’s burial ground.

Long the wheat suffers within the weeds,
Waiting and watching for harvest,
Flush golden fields reflecting the sun,
Eager to rise above chaff’s darkness.

You reap sown in fruits of Your mercy,
Crushed into the bread of Your charity,
Crumbs of hope plant seeds of faith,
Reborn anew into Communion’s mystery.

by Chris Clody
10/19/2018

Forty days to Freedom

thfcj3pb1a

Actually, it wasn’t forty days at all but a need to know why this number is so significant to that little tribe of Jewish nomads who introduced our world to the One True G-d. I encourage you to spend forty minutes of investigation in exploring the concepts of transition and renewal bound to this number. Before long, you may find yourself driven into that wilderness with Jesus who thwarts temptation with the words from the fifth book of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy. My friend and guide has further illumined David’s confrontation with Goliath, this malevolent giant surrounded by 6’s (6 cubits high, 6 weapons, and 60 shekels heavier wearing his snakelike, scaly  armor). This very beast of creation who boasted of capturing the Ark of the Covenant and brought it to the temple of Dragon stood and taunted the Israelites during their morning and evening prayers. Yet it was out in this wilderness that David defeats Goliath of Gath (one of five city states of the Philistines) with but a sling and five stones drawn from a brook. Using the smoothest stone, let’s guess and call it the fifth stone, he kills this enormous Philistine by hitting him where we all must keep the Torah, the five books of God’s wisdom.

I’ll let the numbers 5, 666, and 40 stretch your contemplation but let’s not do that on an empty stomach. How about enjoying the five fruits in honor of the Jewish holiday of Tu BiShvat seder.  Here we enjoy fruits in the following order: olives, figs, grapes, dates, and pomegranates. When you eat an olive, it’s bitter and you spit the pit out right away. You’ll then you eat the sweet fig and maybe roll that pit around in your mouth for a little longer. The grapes are sweet yet the seeds are so small.  Sometimes you spit these crunchy little seeds out, swallow them, or get wedged between teeth. However, when you eat a date, the seeds cannot be separated from the fruit and eaten as a whole. Finally, the epitome (sorry couldn’t resist!) of fruits, is the pomegranate, that tempting “apple” of Eden, in which the seed is actually the fruit! This transition from an unwanted pit to actual fruit encourages our transition from Genesis to Deuteronomy (and hopefully the fruits of our labor).

Just a note regarding another seder, the Passover (Pesach), which encourages young and old alike to retell Exodus as if they were there in the dust and commotion. One of the most emphasized themes of this seder is Freedom. In fact one of the four names of Passover is Hag ha-Herut (The Feast of Freedom).

In the end, we are given a chance at faith, to be pushed, driven, tested, and transformed into a renewed retelling of our life in G-d. We begin as rough rocks allowing the water of the Word to wash over us, rounding sharp edges to become that smooth stone hopefully chosen by a (soon to be) King. We must run thirsty into the desert and face our own wilderness and realize our only battle is using the words Jesus himself chose from the living stream of Torah. This Jew, named Jesus, who came “…only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24), also claimed to be the fulfillment of Torah. Like the seeds of a date, Jesus cannot be separated from Torah, nor should Christianity not see Torah as a transformative and living gift from G-d. Just as passionately as Jesus wanted to gather the Jews as a hen to her chicks, so must Christianity embrace the Torah beyond its shallow understanding and truly bring a culminating awareness to what the Gospel writers are hoping to convey. Christianity exegetes the seeds from dates without realizing their integral part of the flesh.

Remember, we all must be transformed in Christ. Truly every seed must die, slowly transform, offering unexpected new life, freedom, and flesh for the world. Now consider the seed of a pomegranate…consider true freedom.

Shalom,
Chris

America’s Checkpoint Charlie

crossdeath

What is the greatest human construct that defies Jefferson’s Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Was it slavery and its destructive legacy? Without hesitation, the long fingers of racism continue to claw through generations with its mauling intentions of targeted brutality.

Was it the Trail of Tears? Another repulsive, historical scar that forced the undignified relocation of the Native American nations following the Indian Removal Act of 1830? Does our prejudicial genetics still spew that racism even after Hitler? What about good ole McCarthysm? Are families living in this country today cowering from the threat of their Removal Act? Really! If I hear that justified through another ‘Christian’ living in their this ‘Christian Nation’ I’m gonna’ vomit.

Certainly, the aforementioned nausea caused by our malignant, American insecurity towards anything ‘other’ than one sees in the mirror has raped the potential for a robust national community. Prejudice can be both overtly hostile or passively aggressive in words, actions, and deeds. Take a moment to consider our ‘others’ that prevent benevolence from our heart to another or cause… yeah, ouch.

Still, there is no greater wall that not only prevents a chance at the hope but intends far worse. I am speaking about abortion. It is premeditated murder. It is a slow, calculated killing. There is profound suffering. The consideration of abortion with ‘meaningful’ language reflective of an ‘intimate choice’ is vulgar and more befitting of a squalid dissociation from reality. Is this now a steel claw rising from slavery transformed through Margaret Sanger’s dim view of equality? Can a discourse of Eugenics vs. Equality ever be deemed civil and rational by a sober society. Outside of this veiled ‘solution’ offered to the poor (who are intentionally kept poor!), is prenatal diagnosis with the intent to abort not on the slippery slope down towards the sick doctrine of Aryanism?

Let me be clear. Abortion is not simply the greatest border; it is America’s Checkpoint Charlie lined with over-caffeinated, snipers painting red dots on another little girl or boy’s pursuit of life. If life is not a central core perspective then why fear any mortal consequence one may experience through war, slavery, prejudice, poverty, or shame (God forbid). Remember, despite the deplority of slavery – there still was life.

So I ask you, do you believe in the Declaration of Independence?
Is life be a surrendable inalienable right? Are there even inalienable rights before life itself? Does any (possible) mortal consequence outweigh the chance to experience mortality?

…Sorry, had to go there today.

Become Peace,
Chris

Inalienable rights ~ Freedoms that each individual in the United States have which cannot be transferred to another person or surrendered except by the individual having those rights. Fundamental rights of United States citizens include right topractice religion, equal protection of laws and the freedom of speech.