"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What kind of man was this?

What kind of man was this? 5 by 7 watercolor
Amid the joy, the emotion, and ceremony of the confirmation of Susan and her sister Sara at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church this morning, I found myself looking at the beckoning Christ in front of a cross on the wall back of the altar.
What kind of man was this, that so many would follow?
His magnetism began when he was earthly, with dirty feet and sweat and words that riveted people, especially the poor and spiritually hungry, and drove others, especially the religious, away.
He taught love and forgiveness and acceptance and sincerity, trying to unite rather than divide--lessons foreign to the world then, and now.
Would he be welcome in many places that tout his name ? Where would he be on Sunday mornings? In fancy churches, or with the homeless? In political rallies or helping the poor?
What would he be teaching today, in this country, or in other countries where the languages, and religions and races are different?
Bishop Konieczny's powerful homily, delivered without notes but from a walker, told these new Episcopals, about the meaning of Jesus today.
Separate from the liturgies, the traditions, the regulations, narrow-minded judgments, the politics, the divisions, the vile acts and hatred performed in his name, this dark-skinned Middle Eastern Jew, who preached against hatred and judgment and hypocrisy, and said love your neighbor....
What kind of man was this who had the courage and truthfulness to  say and do what he did?
Episcopal confirmees, at St. Augustine of Canterbury, with Oklahoma Bishop The Right Reverend Dr. Edward J. Konieczny, under the outstretched arms of Jesus--Susan in white on front row left, with her sister Sara right behind her.

No comments:

Post a Comment