Friday, September 26, 2008

Would You Step Over Here Please?

Shortly after speakers at the Republican National Convention, including Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, made sport of (get ready to chuckle) community organizers, T-shirts appeared bearing the message:

"Jesus was a community organizer;
Pontius Pilate was a governor."

That got a laugh out of me, as well as the encouragement to stop and think for a moment. Many moments, actually. I'm still thinking about it and what it says about the state of our nation today.

I haven't written in a while -- I've been acclimating to the dynamics of my new life working for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. One thing that's new, and is taking some getting used to, is the three hours of commuting by bus (round trip) three days a week. But it does give me time to think.

Yesterday I was thinking again about that Jesus/Pilate thing when I remembered this picture. It is an artist's rendering of what Yeshua ben Miriam might have looked like. A forensic artist from the University of Manchester used the 2000-year-old skull of a Jewish man from Israel to recreate the face, and based the hair and skin color on third century frescoes of Jewish faces. All of this was done for a Discovery Channel documentary about the historic Jesus. That's right, this is an artist's rendering of what the actual Jesus might have looked like.

And not only was Jesus a community organizer, but if he were to walk through an airport today the screeners might well ask him to step out of line.

Again and again I find myself facing the same question: with whom am I standing? It's a question that comes up in my personal life; it's a question that comes up in my work life; and it's a question that echoes in my head as I listen to the politicians and pundits this election season.

It's a question for you, too.

In Gassho,

Rev. Wik