Archive for January, 2013

peter and swordJesus is meeting with his disciples in the upper room at Mary’s house in Jerusalem. They’ve had their feet washed, broken bread, drunk wine and Judas has gone to get the Temple guards to grab Jesus at Gethsemane.

Jesus (a little tense): Okay, guys. my time is running out. I’m about to be betrayed and turned over to the Romans. They’re going to drag me away, beat me and kill me, but I’ll be back. It’s glorification time.

Peter (adamantly): No way! I’ll get a sword. They’ll get you over my dead body!

Jesus (holding up his hands): Chill, Peter. You’ll be swearing you don’t know me by tomorrow morning. It’ll be terribly difficult — my time has come — where I’m going you can’t go, but I’ll come back. I just have one last thing you need to know before I go.

Peter (pounding the table): it’s not gonna hap….

Jesus (frowning at Peter): Peter. I’ve a new commandment for you.

The disciples grow silent and attentive, but Peter is rummaging around trying to find a sword.

Jesus (Exasperated): Peter! (pause) Okay, here’s the deal: Love one another as I have loved you. By this, the world will know you are my disciples — love one another. That’s it. Love others. Any questions?

Peter (rusty sword in hand): Ha! Found one! So, where’ya’goin?

Jesus (rolling his eyes): Peter. Put. Away. Your. Sword.

Peter (intensely): Seriously, where’ya’goin?

Jesus: Rock. Settle down. We’re goin to Gethsemane and we’ll pray. Come with me, now.  Peter, repeat after me: love one another.

Peter: Love one another. Okay. Here we go! I’ve got a sword and I’m ready to do your will. Let’s go!

Jesus(sighing): For Pete’s sake. Okay, let’s go.

Tr8: Love one another. That’s how the world knows who we are.

Based on John 13:31-38

basketballJesus and the Disciples have just finished a few games of basketball at the temple courts. They absolutely schooled the lunch crowd scribe and pharisee wannabees. Jesus coached (or all comers would have been shut out). They’re toweling off and knocking back Gatorades. Jesus has his eyes closed and appears to be resting or praying.

Nate: So, what’s God like?

Jesus (opening his eyes): Whadyamean?

Nate: You know, the Big Guy, the one you pray to.

Jesus: That’s me. It’s complicated, but it’s not. The Father and I are one.

John: No, Nate’s asking about the Father. What’s he like?

Jesus: Well, when I say ‘Father’ I’m alluding to a greater part of me you can’t comprehend. I am God.

Peter: Yeah, we get that, but you pray. Who are you praying to?

Jesus: I’m getting in touch with the ‘Father’ — the part of me that runs the universe and makes miracles possible. In about 300 years the Nicene Council will settle on the idea of “Trinity.” People still don’t get “I am.” “‘I am (blank),” but no one and no word can fill in the blank. ‘Father’ is the best I can do for you.

Matthew: So, then, you’re like the Father’s hand puppet?

Jesus (shaking his head): I catch your meaning — interesting analogy. Think of it this way: There’s the concrete reality of God, that’s me. There’s the abstract reality of God, that’s the ‘Father’. And there’s the expressed reality of God, that’s love and light. The Spirit of God is love — I’m the example, love is the abstract and grace and understanding are the expressions.

Judas (raising his hand): What’s biology?

Jesus (rolling his eyes, smiling): Later, Judas.  I’ve made it as easy as possible. Follow my example and the rest falls into place. It’ll make people in the future mad, but really, the deal is: live like me. My way is THE way and leads to truth and life and connects you with the greater me you cannot see.

Peter: I’ve had an epiphany! I understand the “I am” thing with Moses. It’s impossible to name the greater part of you we can’t see. Whatever term we use, it’s insufficient — Yahweh, God, Allah, Almighty, Glorious One — as great as they may be, they all fall short. It’s foolish to name what’s beyond naming.

Jesus: Rock, upon that I’ll build my church! The reason I am is so you can see what cannot be seen. I am light. I am love. I am all that matters.

Tr8: Know Jesus. Know ‘I am.’ For non-bible-thumpers, try reading one of the Gospels (Jesus histories) in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).

History of Trinity Doctrine


Tr8: What’s in the title, do that. Work on yourself, seeking the Spirit of Christ, and draw others into wanting the same Spirit in themselves.

labelThe Disciples are all at Murphy’s Pub at the bar. Jesus is tending. Most of the disciples are drinking cokes.

Jesus (wiping the bar with a towel): You know why I’m working here for Murphy, tending bar?

Peter (rolling his eyes): I know. So the local derelicts can get to know you?

Jesus (nodding): Yep. When people get to know me, I change their lives.

Matthew (nodding, too): ‘Course. We can attest to that.

Jesus: What do you call a Buddhist who’s getting to know me?

John (looking at the guys then shaking his head): We don’t know, what?

Jesus: A Buddhist getting to know Jesus. What do you call Jew who’s getting to know me?

Nate (raising his hand): Oh! I know. A Jew getting to know Jesus.

Jesus (smiling): Right. What will you call a muslim who’s getting to know me?

Judas (wrinkling his brow): Umm. A muslim getting to know Jesus?

Jesus: So far, so good. What do you call an atheist who’s getting to know me?

Matthew: An atheist getting to know Jesus.

Jesus (looking very serious): So, what do you call a gay guy in San Francisco who’s getting to know me?

Bart (just as serious): A gay guy getting to know Jesus.

Jesus (grinning widely): Aaaa. Nope, everyone getting to know me in North America is ‘lost.’

James: That doesn’t make any sense.

Jesus (nodding): There you go, James. It’s seriously ridiculous. There’s two types of people: Those who know me and those who are coming to know me. Don’t expect one’s culture to disappear as he or she comes to know me well.

Andrew: So, you’re talking about syncretism — everything mixed together?

Jesus: Hmm. No, I’m talking about labeling people. You’ll know they are my disciples if they love others as I have loved you, not by labels.

Tr8: Don’t use labels. Expect indigenous expressions of Christ in different cultures. The love of Christ adapts to, then transforms, people and cultures.

murphys pubMurphy, the non-disciple, is with Jesus and Peter in Capernaum. Murphy has just started a public house near the docks. Murphy’s Public House will have rooms, boarding, and a bar. Peter and Jesus have stopped by to see how things are going.

Murphy (excited): Hey, Jesus will you bless my business? I open tomorrow.

Jesus: Sure. I bless this business.

Peter: Just like that? You bless a bar?

Jesus: Why not?

Peter: Well, he’ll be serving alcohol and you know the kind of derelicts that’ll stay here.

Jesus: Seriously?

Peter: This close to the docks? The dregs of Capernaum will be here.

Jesus (tapping Peter on the chest): Peter, your family works a fishing boat from this dock.

Peter (frustrated): Well…we’re at the far end and avoid the unclean boat owners and crews.

Jesus: All fishermen live among unclean stuff. Check the book. No scales? Unclean.

Peter (looking down): Hmm. I’m not VERY unclean. Maybe just a little. After work.

Jesus (rolling his eyes): Yeah, right. It’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside. Murphy, let me have a room here for the next month.

Murphy (overjoyed): Woohoo! My first customer!

Peter (looking askance at Jesus): I should have known. You’ll probably wait bar for Murph just to meet messed up people.

Jesus (raising his eyebrows): Good idea, Peter! Wha’d’ya say Murph?

Murphy (considering): Hmm. Sure, I guess. Tomorrow night?

Jesus: We’re on.

Murphy (setting up drinks for Jesus and Peter): A man walks into a bar with two ducks. One of the ducks is wearing a cat on his head. The bartender says, ‘What’s with the cat on that duck’s head?’ The guy says, ‘I don’t know. Those aren’t my ducks.’ The duck with the cat on his head says, ‘Jim, your cat’s blown off.’ Jim says, ‘Second one this week.’

Tr8: Jesus liked to hang out with people the Pharisees didn’t like and did things they didn’t like. Spend some time serving non-church people on their turf.