Been thinking about what other "J" word means a great deal to me to write about for this week's letter here on the Pagan Blog Project....and I have toyed with several, but this morning, the word, "Jesus" popped into my head and so here am I.
"Here am I, Lord."
I sang that refrain in a huge choir at a Billy Graham Revival in Syracuse. Betcha didn't know that, aye? Yes, right there in the monotone Alto section :) It was very kewl to be in a choir as huge as that. It was a long time ago. I was also a Sunday school teacher in the Dutch Reformed Church and one in the Methodist Church as well. And now? What am I?
I'm an....Eclectic Seeker of Spirituality in all it's forms.
Just the other day I was sitting with one of my best friends, and we were having ice cream on a beautiful summer day, sitting outside at a Byrne Dairy and a biker sat down and started talking to us. He was nice and kind and would put in his "witnessing" here and there...you know....name dropping his friend Jesus here and there into the conversation.
And that's ok, the way this biker did it. He was just talking. He seemed to need to be listened to. We heard about his trouble with prostate cancer and his hardships with lack of hormone therapy....all from a stranger, while we were licking the sweet cream from the cones. We let him chat. He never did get around to dropping the big question, "Are you saved? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?" (although I could feel it coming....he never did get round to it.)
What would I have said?
Well, I would've told him, "Thank you for asking, but it's none of your business." And I would've said it kindly and with a smile. But he didn't ask. I could've gone on to say, that "Yah, I've done that....a long time ago. Jesus is my good friend. He helps me and I love him, but I also love a lot of other Gods and Goddesses....altho, I'll admit that Jesus is my favorite. "
Jesus is a wonderful symbol of a God that got his hands dirty. He didn't sit up on Mount Olympus and look down his nose. He didn't throw thunderbolts or fuck around. Jesus tried on the human suit. He buttoned it up and lived it, they say. Jesus is probably an amalgamation of several leaders, so the history books say.
He rubbed elbows with great leaders and minds....and kept company with sinners and prostitutes and beggars and thieves. Who else needed him more? Those that have to run with the dogs....that need hope to get out of bed in the morning...those that need a friend. Just like my ice cream biker guy. Just like me.
His giving of himself, even to the utmost sacrifice of his breath, a truly honorable deed. And yet, what I love is that his story doesn't end there. He REVIVED.
Because that's what LOVE IS.
There is a song that Pete Seeger used to sing called "God Bless the Grass".
And it always reminds me of the nature of Christ.
"God Bless the Grass, that grows through cement.
It's green and it's tender and it's easily bent.
And God Bless the Truth, the friend of the poor,
and the green grass growing round the poor man's door....
God Bless the Grass.
God Bless the Truth, that fights toward the sun,
they roll the lies over it and they think that it is done,
but it moves underground and it reaches for the air
and after awhile...it's growin' everywhere!
God Bless the Truth"
Some scholars say that Jesus was an Essene. The Essenes were a sect of Jewish faith that accepted women and believed in the feminine side of God. They believed in the essence of life and adhered to vegetarianism in diet as well as in the psychic nature of all living things.
What I love about Jesus is that he was:
Regal, yet unassuming.
Firm and yet kind.
Followed the rules, yet suggested that you continue to think for yourself.
He taught by example in his own life. He was not "Do as I say just do as I do" but he really lived his ideals.
He was not afraid to speak up for his own beliefs.
He encouraged others to find their joy.
He was INCLUSIVE.
He was tolerant.
He was FUN.
He was communal.
He taught to the person's needs. Some needed to be taught through reprimand and some through consolation. It depended on the person.
Did you know that he loved dancing and singing?
Jesus is NOT what has been portrayed by the Church.
Jethro Tull was right: "He is NOT the kind you have to wind up on Sunday."
And you know what? Jesus is just alright by me. :)
If you would like a different look at Jesus check out the link at the bottom of this note.
Jesus also embodied in action: "Harm none, do as you will"....so in many ways, with his love of the Father-Mother God, his love of nature, his respect for living things, he was also a good example for us to follow. Even us pagans.
He was HOT :)