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poem: jesus loves the lepers glory amen - Renewal in the Arts

Jan. 17th, 2005

05:44 pm - poem: jesus loves the lepers glory amen

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Written long before I became a follower of Christ.

jesus loves the lepers glory amen

jesus loves the lepers glory amen.
jesus walks on half-trodden footsteps only partly in this world
jesus loves me glory amen.
i have sacrificed each part of myself on the altar of repentance
& yet jesus loves me glory amen.
i have surfaced from my own waters of innocence
into something neither innocent nor meek
& yet jesus loves me glory amen.
and yea i can quote the scriptures
& make water out of wine
i can soothe the beast & wrench the lies out of time
but jesus forgives me when my eyes are gone dark
& jesus loves me- glory amen.


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Date:January 19th, 2005 01:10 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I like this poem, exactly, but I do think it's well-put together, particularly the impact of "jesus loves me glory amen" woven throughout. I guess the sarcastic tone I read is what leaves the bittersweet taste, not only because it seems to mock certain elements of Christian tradition, but because of the Pentecostal distortion and intellectualism that I've experienced coupled with rich white men shouting, "Can I get an amen? Glow-ray!"

I mentally inserted a comma in the second line: jesus walks on, half trodden footsteps...it is easy to understand this perception, especially given even very evangelical films like "Jesus" or even (to a much lesser extent IMHO) "Passion of the Christ." But this perception has, throughout Church history, been considered one of the most dangerous heresies possible: docetism (which is, doctrinally, why gnostic thought never won the day). It gets back to the fundamental teaching (and experience) of Jesus as fully Incarnate God, theoanthropos in the Early Greek Fathers. He did not just seem to be human or "float" somehow leaving "half-trodden" footsteps...he was a son of Adam through and through, and God through and through, and...Mystery.

Here's my question: assuming you take some of my comments as valid, AND taking this poem into account, what would I new poem look like? I'll post a poem in reaction to this one, and maybe you'll see what I mean. N'tan, our good friend, calls this "quarreling with the text."
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Date:January 19th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
Although the "glory amen" bit was somewhat farcical ala flaming pentacostalists, it was intended to read more like a litany, or a mantra. That might help the interpretation a bit.

There isn't meant to be a comma in the second line, even though it doesn't seem to make much sense as a single clause. The image I'm trying to invoke is of Jesus solidly putting his foot into an existing but not quite "real" footprint. Tracing steps, so to speak. It's still a somewhat docetic image, although a bit less so. You have to keep in mind that my understanding of Jesus at the time (from the perspective of an atheist-in-denial) was that he was a mythological character based on a real person. I don't really agree with this perspective now.

I am interested in reading your version of this poll but I don't really feel the need to do a revision. It's just interesting to look back at my old perspectives see how I've changed.
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[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
You correctly understood, and that does change the interp. My question was more meant this way: what NEW poem would you write to intersect between where you were and where you are?

I wasn't recommending a revision, as though every time you have a shift in perspective you have to redo your stuff--to use a "renewal" image 'reinvent the wheel.' As you implied, it's a marker, and a very powerful one at that.
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[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2005 07:11 am (UTC)

Quarreling again, maybe.

The people say:
jesus loves the lepers glory amen

I say: unclean unclean!

Jesus says:
I don't care:
let me touch you
embrace you
give you life.
come sit down and eat--
the Table is ready.

Those who should know better say:
What are you doing, Jesus?
you eat with tax collectors and sinners!
when will you restore the kingdom to
israel instead
of this monster caesar, the one who
keeps us in exile?
kick roman ass, already!

Jesus says:
woe to you you scribes and pharisees,
you hypocrites!
your words are like desert sand driven by a hot
you obscure the footprints of the prophets!
if the ones who are called
will not come to the Table,
then the first shall be last
and the last

I say:
thus saith Yeshua ha moschiach.
Thus saith the Lord.

and the people say:
jesus loves the lepers glory amen

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[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2005 07:14 am (UTC)

Re: Quarreling again, maybe.

I was thinking it should read:

"Kick roman ass already!
Endorse our agenda!"

Thoughts as to artistic and theological merit?
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Date:January 19th, 2005 11:44 pm (UTC)

Re: Quarreling again, maybe.

Rofl... I love it. You should add it in.
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