Jesus in our time – 9

Jesus in our time – 9

In those dawns, Jesus would pray in the foothills surrounding the city. Late mornings or early afternoons, Jesus would walk down the rugged, dusty, rocky hills into town, and stroll along the Greenbelt series of parks that wind along with the river as it winds through the city center, and I promise you that the wood-fenced and -gazeboed Rose Garden in front of the Zoo and the artsy movie house with foreign films and where you can buy food and beer with your movie and the wine samplings in the galleries and the local blues band in the smoke-free bars: all of this and more was known to and enjoyed by Jesus Christ the Savior.

And also: Jesus did not scorn the small art museum directly in front of the Rose Garden and across the street from the library, but said that some of the art was interesting and neat and even beautiful; though it is true that someone’s grandmother did once disparage this little local museum, but this was unfair: it’s just a small affair and to compare it to the MET and other grand experiences of her life and times was like comparing the Book of Obadiah with the Book of say Genesis or some other grand chunk of the glorious whole. Edom, founded by Esau, in the cliffsides around a Sea dead even in the ancient of days, did indeed fall; and this was worth prophesizing, and this prophecy fit in a few slender pages, and in the mouth of a minor prophet, and tucked away towards the end of the Holy Bible, and yet: there it stands!

Not far from the art museum, nor far from the rose garden, and quite close to the wide tree-shaded paths and to the sparkling Capitol Boulevard and to the glinting river, and facing a wide green field lined by trees and bright in the morning sunlight: There stood a wide white bandstand with a flat stage extending beyond the cavernous bandshell behind the red and blue archway opening the rectangular facade. At the front of the stage around 10AM round about the time of the vernal equinox of 2024, Jesus sat in green khaki shorts and a yellow-with-black-zagging-stripe Charlie Brown T-shirt, swinging his legs and squinting in the bright morning light.

And a crowd gathered around him as if summoned by the silent shout of the Holy Spirit, or perhaps in anticipation of a free concert that was scheduled for 11AM that day, a concert whose framework was being constructed in bangs and clicks and thumps and thuds behind Jesus Christ, with friendly roadies in black T-shirts and shorts who told him he’s going to have to move at some point, since there’s a concert there coming up.

And Jesus stood up at the edge of the stage that extended a dozen or so feet beyond the facade into which the bandshell was hewn, and he began to preach to the crowd of (mostly young) people on blankets and drinking water, soda, tea, coffee, health elixirs, and even some alcohol disguised as water, soda, tea, coffee, or perhaps a health elixir.

“Blessed are the tender hearted; a gentle smile and open heart live already in the Holy, reacting to things as they really are.

“Blessed are the humbly courageous, who know the child of God in everyone they meet.

“Blessed are the lonely, for God’s community has room for all, and its fellowship is only kind, excluding none and remembering all.

“Blessed are those who seek the Truth and speak gently and honestly.

“Blessed are those who choose the freedom of shared delight over the freedom to lie, cheat, and twist the Light.

“Blessed are those who refuse to follow bullies and liars — even when they bully on your behalf, and lie for your advantage.

“Blessed are those who accept their human hands and holy fire; in their humility and courage they are the conduits through which God-as-Joy flows into this world: Not as a command, but as a prayer and an offering; for every soul knows itself divine, but wisdom remembers that human minds, hearts, mouths, and fingers are fallible, are here to serve Love, not to boast in self-pretended holiness, making believe that one’s own thoughts and feelings themselves were the divine Love that thoughts and feelings must serve if the human is to live the life-overflowing.

And with many such exhortations did he teach them, and they were surprised and said, “Who is this who teaches Something Deeperism, but not as complicated, self-looping philosophizings — as do the Bartlebies and the Ambles –, but in simple, earnest language in bandshells in the bright sunlight that we who grew up in this safe little town have come to accept as our birthright, as the background guarantee of our covenant with this lucky break and outrageous grace we sometimes accidentally pretend we earned?”

And the band began to play, and they played as they had never before played, and Jesus sat in for a couple sets, but he didn’t know the lyrics, so he sang some Psalms in ancient tongues and everyone’s hair stood on end at the nearness of the Spirit in a free concert in a wide park in the Greenbelt series of parks that follows the river through town and helps make the city into a playground for old and young alike. Sometimes a few hours float outside of time and everyone present knows for a time that all are one and in this One all hang forever outside of their times, their places, their names, their shapes, their sizes, their hearts, their minds, their attitudes and expressions. Such times have no price and point towards the Good, although sometimes fees are associated with them and sometimes the experience is co-opted by lies of us-versus-them and other follies that would wad up the Infinite Light into a little narrow weapon. But that didn’t happen to this event; no, this moment stayed pure and sweet, gentle like a newborn’s giggle, and light and merry-quick like the flick of a squirrel’s bushy tail.

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Mac Watson

Comments are closed.