Monday, March 14, 2016

Station 10 - Jesus is Stripped

"He was despised 

photo by Jim Forest / flickr
and rejected by others;

a man of suffering 

and acquainted with infirmity;

as one from whom others 

hide their faces

he was despised, 

and we held him of no account."

              --Isaiah 53. 3

The journey is almost over.

But not quite.

The soldiers stripped him naked.

It is a moment of utter shame.

The crowd laugh and point.

This naked man 
cross-eyed with pain-- 
blood streaming down his dirty body
is the expected Messiah?

He is totally defenseless.

They leave nothing hidden.
No thing. 

We have few pictures of the naked Jesus.

Somehow it seems completely

And so we have solved the problem.

We have covered him over with
layer after layer.

Naked no more.  

He is now white.
And middle-class.
Successful as the smiling 
preachers tell us.
He is Catholic.
Or Methodist.
Or Baptist.
Maybe Episcopalian.
Maybe even Unitarian.

We have decked him
with our politics
and our guns
and our prejudices.
He is an American 
and on his tunic 
is a tiny American flag.

He hates what we hate.
Covered over with every pagan

Once in Germany
he was blonde and blue-eyed
Aryan despite what
they said.  

The fat preacher, parking his
Mercedes at the door
talks about Jesus' Republicanism
and how he helps us pick 
and choose God's candidate.

No wonder so many poor
never come to church
They wouldn't fit with the
nice Jesus and the successful 
with the Audis and
the Cadillacs and the Corvettes
and the BMW's out front.

We have smothered him with
our trappings.
Silenced him with our talk
and talk and talk.

But at Station 10 there is no 
place to hide.
We cannot cover his nakedness
with our coverings.

Neither can we turn away.

This naked man
exposed and bare
is the Savior
not just us and our kind
not just our nation
not just 2016--
but the Savior of the whole wide world.

 We cannot cover him over any longer.

Standing here what we see
is the real Jesus.

--Roger Lovette /

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