more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.

 

The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.


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Thursday
Dec172009

talkin about a revolution...sounds like a whisper

'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...for you have brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.  You have filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.'

Question: What kind of person says this? I mean; what kind of person feels this kind of passion?

The answer is: A poor one. One who has seen friends and family marginalized, passed over, treated disrespectfully and scoffed at for generations. The shoe shine guy in the airport. Perhaps he has raised three kids and is helping put several granchildren through college. I mean, he may not deserve to be the lowly shoeman like the well-heeled assume as they sit on their proverbial throne. He may whistle while he works, smile, 'thanks you sir' but beneath all that exterior is a heart heavy. The lowly long for 'the day'. And this was the beginning of the day for the one who whispered these words. Her heart was their heart. The shoeshine heart. And this is their vindication, their time to 'rise' from the rubble, the rabble are going to rise and shine like the sun. And all those many times when the sand was kicked in their face has left a mark on their soul. Someday God will send these guys away with empty hands they dream.

And who is the one who did say this?

The answer is, of course, Mary, mother of Jesus. She was poor. The people in the low plains, the valley, the dregs dream of these sorts of things. They long for the crooked to be made straight. Ragged life to become smooth.

'I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.'

Mary had a dream that the lowly should rise and the exalted would be made low, that injustice would lose its grip, that the crooked places where the privileged built their fortunes on the backs of the underling and oppressed were made straight, that is, set to rights.

And Jesus was her son. The son of a dreamer. A sharecropper of sorts. A carpenter born of a carpenter, one who helped build the castles of Herod. Jesus was Joseph's firstborn raised in the shadow of Herod's temple. He was a peasant. Born purposefully in a peasant home. And being raised in that setting makes an impression. Jesus never forgot from whence he came. And he was seeking a revolution--not of violence and not of vengeance--nonetheless a revolution all the same.

Change.

It must come.

And the cry goes on and on and on.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

Martin.

When I listen to Tracy Chapman, black, female, street smart, sing--I remember Martin, hear the prophets and think of Jesus again. Just a little way down the road of time but the song remains the same. Some two thousand years later. Still talkin about the revolution.

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know they're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

And Mary rejoiced. Because the tables were starting to turn and a revolution was coming. She could see her people invited to a table filled with good things. For all who mourned, who waited, who longed it was time. And they dreamed of getting even, or at least being equal. Because they were at the bottom of the food chain. Getiing stepped on and stepped over again and again. And Jesus sat at her knee. And often she pondered what was coming. He listened intently. And often He provoked the established ranks with that dream. He was a prophet, a dreamer, a lover.

So they killed him.

To quell the revolution. Those who had the power killed him. Of course they gave him fair warning, were patient, tolerant, etc. but when it began to cramp their style they 'handled the problem'.

To stop the song, to halt the singing.

And she wept as he hung there like a limp rag, the best thing she had ever had was gone; save the shell of the mortal flesh. These people of power, princes and princesses in their finery behind gates with fine trimmed lawns hardly noticed her plight. Generation after generation all over the world. She wept singing...

Look what they done to my song, ma
Look what they done to my song,
The only thing I could do half right and now it's turning out all wrong, mama
Look what they done to my song

They are still killing Him.

And I am sitting at a table at 7:15 in the morning. Having worked all night long I feel like a streetperson in my tennis shoes and sweatpants. I am in the city along the medical mile. I order the $3.99 special and it is good. I actually take time to find the special. I don't have a lot of money. And I don't have much pride either. I feel like the shoeshine man at the airport. Any smile I might manage would be a veneer over my wounded heart.

Across from me they sit. Red ties, expensive suit, designer eyeglasses. Perfect hair, heels, black dress, sophisticated money. They just order. People like this don't even bother to look at the menu. They just get whatever they want. They always do. It's always that way. And they have their reward here.

And I imagine the tables are starting to turn as I sit. And I ponder. I am in good company when I sit here alone. Because Jesus was a peasant boy. And Tracy Chapman was a ghetto girl. And Mary, mother Mary was  poor in spirit. And I am what I am. No suit, just sweats. No less.

And I say a little prayer a glaring combination of Tracy, Mary, Martin and me, saying;

'You got a fast car; And I got a plan to get us out of here...and I have a dream...and 'You have brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.  You have filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands...'

And I smile. Poor people gonna rise up and get their share. Somewhere over the rainbow there is a table set. And it is flat. No uppers and lowers. No haves at the expense of the have not's. And the princes come down and the peasants rise up so they can look one another in the eye. And they sit at the table.

But then...my smile is interrupted...I see a man; another man in my mind.  A man named Joseph is there. No, not that one, not the father of Jesus, but the other one the son of Jacob. And he weeps. Because He is in love and vengeance leaves a bitter taste in his mouth. He will not slay his brothers on this day in Egypt. He spits out the ire and embraces these brothers of his. He will not curse the ones who threw his body in a hole now that he has ascended. Curses will not come from the cross that hold 'the song of Mary' like a rag. Curses will not come from the platform in Memphis late night April 3. Or early morning April 4 when a shot rings out in the Memphis sky.

Free at last they took your life...they could not take your pride.

These are somehow better than that. The spirit of peace is upon them. They are the truly annointed ones.

When I see them I am a bit undone. Because I want to rip the priveledgeds guts out for what they've done to my song, to me, to the gospel. But he, Joseph, will not. She, Mary, could not. And he, Martin, would not and I should not. Joseph weeps in the greedy bastards face. Mary ponders and Martin preaches. And they all sound a bit like Jesus when he says in  'forgive them for they know not what they do'. Martin echoed the sentiment in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.

'But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.'

Sometimes I wish vengeance was mine. But it isn't. I am mad at Joseph and Mary and Martin because they are so kind. And they are so right.

And the greedy princes are forgiven. Because mercy triumphs. And the poor here forgive because they remember what it is like to be laid low. And the ones that have tasted of the cup of sorrow--somehow forgive.

And often I resent that.

Sometimes, like this morning, I want to rise up and get my share. But to be like God builds the resistance.

 


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