Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the name of jesus

an excerpt from my draft christology paper, for my womanist & feminist christologies class:

I’ve been saying “Jesus” more lately. It’s not necessarily that I’ve been talking about Jesus more lately, those this might also be true. It’s become what I say under my breath, whenever I hear about or see something awful. The chimes that rang in chapel every six minutes to remind us that in the US, a woman is sexually assaulted every six minutes. The police officers that shot that unarmed guy 51 times getting acquitted. All the little kids in my church knowing that polar bears are going extinct. Jesus.
I always resisted saying it, even though a lot of people do it. For me, it was always in that dim “Lord’s name in vain” category, which started out as profanity and has moved into more nebulous regions of sinfulness.
In chapel, my friends were talking about sexual assault, and they hung a torn and tattered t-shirt on the cross. They talked about the radical need for presence through the awful, presence through the silence into speech, presence through the broken into the beginning of healing. I am convinced of this radical need for presence. And when God shows up, radically, I name that as Jesus. In thinking more about the cross, in thinking more about the power of/in the blood of Jesus, I have become more ready to call on Him, more ready to invoke him or name the ways that he is already present in the horror.

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