Friday, May 22, 2009

Hangin' Out with the J Man.

Ohhhh snap! I forgot I was gonna hang out with J.C. today, let's call him up and see what he's up to.

Sup J.C., where you at?

Over at St Philip Neri Catholic church? The one in Uckfield, East Sussex, right?

You saw who? Munoz? Will why didn't your main man Benedict come himself, was he busy? Ohhhhh, OK.

You want me to bring what? Sure I can bring my Nintendo Wii, you up for a little Mario Kart?

OK, see you in a few J.C.

[Photo: Images International]

I love the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Even though it is infotainment I get more news from these two show then I do from any other "news network". Click here and here for the background story to this bronze statue. Click here if you can't see the video. Check this out.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
ThreatDown - Charity, Casual Jesus & Robot Teachers
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage

Offended? Intrigued? Confused? How does Casual Jesus make you feel about your image of the Lord and Savior to billions? I think it is an incredible repackaging, but not reshaping, of what Jesus means to people. He is a transcendent figure that is just as relevant today as he was 2000 years ago. Mark Twain was right when he said that "clothing makes the man", your image can help or hinder your status in society. I believe that Jesus, as a symbol, transcends our fickle social rules even though WE put limits as to how Jesus is portrayed. And I'm sure to some Jesus in Jeans is very offensive. It is taboo to change the traditional image of Jesus in any way, because for some changing the image equates with changing the message.

But why? If Jesus were to appear among us in the 21st century he would stand out like a sore thumb if he DIDN'T wear clothing from this century. Jesus did not strive to stand out in 1st century Palestine and I doubt he would try 2000 years later. In all of the various Christianities (plural) Jesus always carried the appearance of a commoner regardless of his nature (fully Human, fully Divine, or both). It is through his common appearance (one of us!) that we relate to his spirit speaking to us from within. Truth carried and shared in ANY vessel can still be recognized as Truth. It doesn't matter if Jesus wears jeans, a dress, or is completely naked.

Any change to the traditional image of Jesus still rattles too many cages. Back at GCA during Sabbath School we were shown a short video on the life of Jesus and I had mentioned how he looked like a hippie in the film. As soon as the words came out I knew that it was a bad idea to share my thoughts and that I had worded them improperly. I was given a mini-lecture on hippies and their wild drug induced, "free love" adventures and how I should avoid equating Jesus with those sinners. I was 16 at the time and my knowledge of the outside world, let alone the 60s, was very limited. I knew about the drugs and free love but what I was trying to point out was that Jesus wore sandals, loose clothing, and long hair; the outside appearance reminded me of hippies and not the inward appearance of the character. I tried to argue my point but was quickly shot down. The statement alone can be offensive around certain people and it didn't help that my friends were suspected of participating in a recent school drug scandal; to them I was guilty by association. The moral of the story kids is if you attend a private Christian boarding school you should not associate with questionable characters nor speak your own thoughts if they run against the school's official teachings.

Does Jesus in Jeans offend or inspire? Sculptor Marcus Cornish said

"The clothing is loosely contemporary in order to connect Christ to his people now as much as to his past. I hope this sculpture will inspire and communicate in very human terms, reaching out and being relevant to both the congregation and local community."

It's not that it's necessary for us to change the image of Christ so that we can relate to him in the 21st century but as time progresses so do the languages and symbols that define the Truth contained within the Logos. Humanity needs symbols to grasp, understand, and experience the divine and because of the difficulty to internalize God do we need "a finger pointing to the moon" to show us the way. The finger, let alone its appearance, is of little importance compared to what it points towards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Thanks!

Don R

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