I have been tearing through Shane Claiborne‘s The Irresisible Revolution again. I read most of it while I was at Koinonia, don’t know why I never finished it, but I was borrowing it and didn’t have the cash at the time to buy my own copy. I have been wanting to get it again, and my amazon order for it just arrived Friday. I am about three quarters finished and twice as inspired as I was before. Inspired and confused.

Since I have arrived in New York, I have been in a state of general grumpiness and dis-ease, and through reading this book, I am begining to understand its source. I remember a conversation I had with Bren Dubay one morning at The Open Door Community in Atlanta where I said I didn’t know if I could go back to living a life of materialism. Living as a part of a community provided a number of freedoms that i have come to miss. One of them was time, and a space in my spirit that was normally taken up by scurrying about worring about paying rent and bills and getting here or there on time. is this the way “the man” keeps us quiet? This cycle of wanting more and more causing us to work more and more so much that we become complacent and closed off to the fact that things are pretty fucked up in our world.

So yeah. Now I am in New York City, and I love this city, but I see my life filling up in ways that will keep me from doing what I feel called to do, but then, what exactly is it that i feel called to do? Living at Koinonia was the closest I felt to connecting with my activist/spiritual needs. But even though I felt so connected spiritually there, and so close to the members of the community, I had a hard time with feeling disconnected from the rest of the world. Here in New York, it’s the opposite….so far. I am really connected and surrounded by people of all types, but I am rapidly losing the time and energy to connect with what my spirit needs because of the overriding need to find work.

The grumpiness? How in the hell do I get both of these extremes fed?

Claiborne makes such a strong case for Jesus in this book, which is saying alot for me to say something like this. I was sitting on the bus yesterday and had a crystal clear understanding about Him: “When I look past my judgements about Christians, following Jesus seems like a pretty reasonable thing.” I twittered it in that moment, and a couple of people responded in negative ways. Why is it so un-cool to have repspect for Jesus? The Jesus that people like Claiborne, Clarence Jordan, Dorthy Day and company speak of is so different from what our culture would lead us to believe. I think this is all I can put into words about any of this right now, but I will continue. I really want to pay a visit to The Simple Way community in Philly. For the first time ever, I am feeling open to Christianity.

5 thoughts on “Considering Jesus

  1. Avatar
    John

    Well, first of all, don’t expect anything thoughtful on Twitter – it’s ADD communication and mostly is people exchanging brain farts (even if you were trying to be thoughtful in what you said).

    Jesus sounds like a good guy with good things to say, but the following Jesus thing brings up the image of lots of people who view Jesus as a reason to have a neat list of who they’re supposed to hate, so you are always going to have people reacting to that.

    Then there’s the whole divine impregnation thing, which – however good the teachings of Jesus may be – is a big stumbling block for people who find that as reasonable as aliens riding in on a big spaceship to save us.

    There’s a big difference between “respect for Jesus” as a teacher and philosopher, and “following Jesus” the way that usually seems to play out in our culture.

    (Unrelated note: your segment recently on the Starbucks cell phone guy had me laughing out loud while listening to it on a plane. I HATE that – people who are so busy on their phone that they treat the actual human beings providing them with a service like they are fleshy vending machines. Ugh!)

  2. mikeypod
    mikeypod

    I like what you said about ” Jesus as a reason to have a neat list of who they’re supposed to hate.” I see that too, now that I am seeing Christianity as a inspirational tool to get off my ass and make some changes with how I live , instead of just bitching about the way things should be…. it seems much more reasonable.

    Glad you can relate to the cell phone thing….now I have an image of myself as the super customer at these places who will say the things I couldn’t say while I was employed there. i.e. “ma’am, you are holding up the line, would you mind reentering the line after you finish your phone conversation?”

  3. Avatar
    Rick

    Checking in on your “Jesus post” – gotta say that you’ve found an “in” that most people don’t find ever. Too many Christians are scared or shamed “into the kingdom” and then it doesn’t make a lick of difference in their actual lives. But it sounds like you’ve got some sort of holy discontent going on. “Holy” in a good way, not a haughty snobby way – where you’re seeing that there’s something real missing and maybe finding something real to fill the gap. Am I close?

  4. Avatar
    Brian

    Mikey,
    Jesus was no follower of culture, tradition, or the establishment. But, he celebrated freedom and differences and he appreciated nature and people. Perhaps to “follow” Jesus, might actually be to not “follow” him.

    What is your power? What must you do to use it? What is your hesitation?

    Just some thoughts.

    Brian

  5. mikeypod
    mikeypod

    very.

    I used to think that Jesus would be opposed to the things I do as an activist, I am beginning to realize now that he would really be asking me why I am not doing more.

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