Danced on the Cross

This one screen shot inspired the title of the poem.
The video is a must see.



He danced on the cross
To the rhythm of the morbid
A macabre scene of celebration
We praise and rejoice to the gore
Of blood poured out for others
Human sacrifice
Just and right
Because He is God,
He can take it.

High, on top Incan pinnacles
Of the faithful to death
We called savages
Inhumane
Barbarians defined
By the practice of their hope
An after life.
They understood what it took.
What was necessary?
To appease god, God,
A sacrifice of blood
Over the table.
Pure and clean
As a baby’s heart.
An innocent deity’s heart.

She danced on the cross
Twirling, or was it twitching
Convulsing in the pain of loss
The shouts of hosanna ceasing
But even those who believed him
Quieted down,
Who would celebrate death?
Who in their right mind?
Jerking in excitement
Shaken earth underneath their feet.
Who would smile?
Cries of vic-
                      -to-
                             -ry?
There was no time
There was no place,
Not then, and why now?

I danced on the cross
His body was not there
Just the promise of return in glory
I danced on the cross
For my benefit, not His
I dared to dance on the cross
And feasted,
Patting myself on the back
for my luck.
Lucky Me!
And I dared to dance and define His death
And his dying
I danced and I pranced
And I dared to call myself apostle.
And I danced and I rejoiced
For the brethren who along with me felt as lucky as can be
And I danced I proclaimed to be
“Anointed to preach the good news to the poor”
Though my good news are just words
printed on cheap newsprint paper
Though my good news are accompanied
by raised hands that are empty
while my pocket and my car
and my 3 bedroom kingdom
keeps me enslaved 9 to 5.
Yet I dance!

I danced on the cross
That not only belongs to me
Belongs to me
Not at all
So dared I dance and raise barb wires
So that you don’t dare to dance
In the space I have decreed just for me.
Because I am holy.
Because I am a chosen saint.
Because I dare not to show wide open
What sin I hide from my own face.

I danced on the cross with joy
There where He laid for the world.

icicle

i’m a melting icicle
giving away all of me
pouring my waters
on heated, and cold, and dry concrete
not more solid me.

i hardened up after your eyes
camped on my ground
scrutinizing every detail
bump, nook, cranny,
fold and dent
where was the love
when our parallel journeys,
thus far,
finally crossed?

you my today,
soon my past
cold with the touch
of your undesirable
pretense for joy
the promise untold
the spoken law
a fact with a tear
a drop full of hate
tapping consistently
until your blaming finger wounded me
there where the scar
of the hole
you left remains.

The "Lean In" Controversy

Because it is Spring Break for Seminarians at Drew, I have had the luxury of indulging in one of my vices;  watching TV.  This is a good week to watch TV: the Papal Conclave and Facebook CEO, Sheryl Sandberg’s book launch “Lean In.”

While I am having a lot of fun posting statements on Facebook about the conclave.  I am persuaded to briefly comment on the attention CEO Sandberg is getting on her book.  While the attention her book is getting is in part because she is one of the few 4.2% of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies; the critics are not holding back.  Some of the flack she is getting it is because the approach she is suggesting seems to be received as elitist, as is coming from a place of power.  (I have not read the book yet) But, I too, am tempted to point out to all the reasons SHE in particular was able to rise to the top of the FB empire.

However, in listening to the side conversations that have risen as a result of her book, I want to thank CEO Sheryl Sandberg for writing her book.  To this day, I have yet to hear in mass media serious consideration and thoughtful conversations about women in the work place and in positions of boardroom leadership.  Yesterday, it was refreshing to hear a reporter say, “Please, let’s go beyond the question, Can women have it all?”  The female reporter challenged her panel that this viewpoint has been cyclical and unproductive. Yes! Agreed!

In working at Girl Scouts in leadership development programs for girls, I know some of what she is saying has some standing. So let’s not dismiss all of her “manifesto”.  Moreover, let’s keep the conversation going.  This is especially important while we witness a cloud of old men dressed in red garments make decisions on an institution that has 721,935 members in their women’s orders.  

In the mean time, let’s keep the conversation going and progressing, we owe it to our girls!

Links:

Today Show
NPR
LeanIn.org

They Will Know We Are of God Through Our Love

Be Careful!
May doctrines of the “chosen” ones not separate us.

In recent months I have come across situations among Christian families, related by biological blood and that of Christ, who are in crisis. Like all good families it is expected that our families will have conflict from time to time.

I think one of the most important reasons why Jesus is recorded saying, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I with them,” was not so much about the spirituality of worship and prayer, as more commonly we interpret this verse. But Jesus understood that among those who would call him God, there would always be conflict. Remembering that as believers, Jesus would be in the midst of all our relationships, the good and the not so good, would serve as a mediation tool.

REMINDER! Jesus as a lawyer has no preference for the parties. Jesus does not serve as a referee who dictates who is the winner and the loser. Among conflicts where relationships between the sisters of the church are severed, as members of the body of Christ we are all losers.

Jesus as the incarnation of the Word, his teachings and example of meekness, serve as a model to follow in our treatment towards one another.

Practices and doctrinal variants from one congregation to another (even within the same denomination), are the reasons why Christians engage in conflicts through social media, meetings, and conversations.  In my humble opinion I think we cater to our egos in our desire to impose our way of believing and thinking of others.  Some enter discussions with the altruistic urge to defend God and the “sound” doctrine; but it is actually very little that we think of God as we enter this dynamic.

When the Bible speaks of a chosen people and separated for God, we find the purposes of the crowds being  able to distinguish us from others. Here are some verses that give us the key;

1. ADVERTISE THE VIRTUES OF GOD
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

All those who follow God in our Christian traditions have good things to announce about God. And regardless of the differences in our doctrines, what we say about how good God is, it is generally consistent. Can you say something good of the God of Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Methodists, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons? If only YOUR God is good; Revisit God!

2. FOR GOD, BECAUSE GOD WANTS
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen to be His people [a] of all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor you chose to be more numerous than other people, they were the least of all peoples; 8 But because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to their fathers (ancestors) … ‘

Although this promise is written for Israel, we Christians and redeemed gentiles include ourselves in it. Not even Israel is chosen, separated, and holy by who they are, know, or do. Out of love, determination, and through covenant; God chooses us. Do we then do not worry about what we say, think, and do? Yes! In response to His love, not only towards God we owe respect, but to each other.  Ephesians 1:4 signals of this understanding, that before we did anything, God had made a covenant for us.

3. STAY FOR YOUR NAME FOREVER
2 Chronicles 7:16 “For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name is in it for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there forever.”

In this short sample of biblical verses, we see that holiness has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God. Being separated should never be a reason for separating from each other. People will distinguish Christians under their own criteria. Jesus best expressed the desire of his heart in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Even more, that our Saviour left us an example from the cross, that amid the error of those who reviled him, spit, and tortured him, he did not focused on changing their opinion or belief but rather said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus acknowledged that their wisdom was limited and prayed for them.

Let us pray for our humility to recognize that all our wisdoms are limited and to pray for one another continually.

PEACE AND NO TO WAR

Que Sepan Que Somos de Dios por Nuestro Amor

English Version 

¡Cuidado! 
Que la Doctrina de Ser Pueblo “escogido” Nos Separe

En los últimos meses me he encontrado con situaciones entre familias cristianas, relacionadas por sangre biológica y por la de Cristo, que están en crisis.  Como todas las buenas familias es de esperarse que nuestras familias tengan conflictos de vez en cuando.

Por eso creo que una de las razones mas importantes por las cuales se registra a Jesús diciendo; “Porque donde están dos o tres congregados en mi nombre, allí estoy yo en medio de ellos,” no es tanto por la espiritualidad de la adoración y a la oración, como mas comúnmente interpretamos este verso.  Sino que Jesús entendía que entre aquellos que lo llamarían Dios, siempre habría conflictos. Recordar que como creyentes, Jesús estaría en medio de todas nuestras relaciones, las mejores y las no tan buenas, serviría de herramienta de mediación. 

¡RECORDATORIO! Jesús como abogado no tiene preferencia por las partes. Jesús tampoco es árbitro quien dicta quien es el ganador y el perdedor.  Entre conflictos donde las relaciones entre las hermanas de la iglesia se separan, como miembros del cuerpo de Cristo todos somos perdedores.

Jesús, como encarnación de la Palabra, sus enseñanzas y ejemplo de mansedumbre serviría de modelo a seguir en nuestro trato de unos hacia los otros.

Practicas y las variantes doctrinales entre una congregación a otra (inclusive dentro de la misma denominación), son de las razones por las cuales hermanos en los medios sociales, reuniones, y conversaciones entran en conflictos de diferencia de opinión.  En mi humilde opinión creo que nuestros egos son lo que satisfacemos en nuestro deseo de imponer nuestra manera de creer y pensar en otros.  Algunos, entramos en debates con el animo altruista de defender a Dios y la buena doctrina.  Pero en realidad es muy poco lo que pensamos en Dios cuando entramos en esa dinámica.

Cuando en la Biblia se habla de un pueblo escogido y separado para Dios, encontramos los propósitos de que entre las multitudes podamos ser separados, es decir, que otros nos puedan distinguir.  Aquí algunos versos que nos dan la clave;

1.     ANUNCIAR LAS VIRTUDESDE DIOS
1 Pedro 2:9  “Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo adquirido para posesión de Dios , a fin de que anuncien las virtudes de Aquél que los llamó de las tinieblas a Su luz admirable.”

Todos aquellos que seguimos a Dios dentro de nuestras tradiciones cristianas tenemos cosas buenas que anunciar acerca de Dios.  Y sin importar las diferencias de nuestras doctrinas, lo bueno que decimos de Dios por lo general es congruente.  ¿Puedes decir algo bueno del Dios que siguen los Católicos, Luteranos, Pentecostales, Metodistas, Evangélicos, Testigos de Jehová, Mormones?  Si solo TU Dios es bueno; ¡Revísalo!

2.     PARA DIOS, PORQUE DIOS QUIERE
Deuteronomio 7:6-8  Porque tú eres pueblo Santo para el Señor tu Dios; el Señor tu Dios te ha escogido para ser pueblo Suyo[a]de entre todos los pueblos que están sobre la superficie de la tierra. El Señor no puso Su amor en ustedes ni los escogió por ser ustedes más numerosos que otro pueblo, pues eran el más pequeño de todos los pueblos; mas porque el Señor los amó y guardó el juramento que hizo a sus padres (antepasados)…”

Aunque esta promesa es escrita para Israel, nosotros los cristianos como gentiles redimidos nos incluimos en la misma. Ni el mismo Israel es escogido, separado y santo por lo que son, saben, o hacen.  Por amor, decisión, y pacto Dios nos escoge.  ¿Tenemos entonces que no preocuparnos por lo que decimos, creemos y hacemos?  ¡Claro que si!  En respuesta a Su amor, no solo hacia Dios debemos respeto, sino hacia unos y otros.  En Efesios 1:4 hay señal de este entendimiento, que antes de que hiciéramos nada, ya Dios habría hecho pacto para con nosotros.

3.     PARA QUE SU NOMBRE PERMANEZCA PARA SIEMPRE
2 Cronicas 7:16 “pues ahora he elegido y santificado esta Casa, para que esté en ella mi nombre para siempre; y mis ojos y mi corazón estarán ahí para siempre.”

En esta corta muestra de versos bíblicos, vemos que la santidad nada tiene que ver con nosotros y todo que ver con Dios.  El ser separados jamás debe ser razón para que bajo nuestro propio criterio nos separemos unos de otros.  Las gentes no cristianas bajo su criterio sabrán distinguirnos.  Jesús mejor expreso el deseo de su corazón en Juan 13:35, “De este modo todos sabrán que son mis discípulos, si se aman los unos a los otros.” Aun mas, que ejemplo nos dejo nuestro Salvador, desde la cruz, que en medio del error de aquellos que le injuriaban, escupían, y torturaban, no se enfoco en cambiarles su opinión o creencia sino mas bien dijo; “Padre, perdónalos, porque no saben lo que hacen.” Jesús reconoció que la sabiduría de ellos era limitada y oro por ellos. 

Oremos, por nuestra humildad en reconocer que todas nuestras sabidurías son limitadas y oremos los unos por los otros.

PAZ Y NO A LA GUERRA

Que sepan que somos cristianos por nuestro amor.

Poemas Perdidos

How many poems never make it onto paper?
Exciting rush of words that fill up and
Quickly vanish if not recorded.
It is a task impossible to gather “el agua desparramada”
The thought “que se esfumo”  into thin air.