Friday, April 29, 2011

24. The Trinity (Gay Passion of Christ series)

24. The Trinity (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“So then the Sovereign Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” -- Mark 16:19

What is the gay vision of heaven? The Holy Spirit inspires each person to see visions of God in his or her own way. Look, the Holy Spirit celebrates two men who love each other! She looks like an angel as She protects the male couple. Are the men Jesus and God? No names can fully express the omnigendered Trinity of Love, Lover, and Beloved… or Mind, Body, and Spirit. God is madly in love with everybody. God promised to lead people out of injustice and into a good land flowing with milk and honey. We can travel the same journey that Christ traveled. Opening to the joy and pain of the world, we can experience all of creation as our body -- the body of Christ. As queer as it sounds, we can create our own land of milk and honey. As Jesus often said, heaven is among us and within us. Now that we have seen a gay vision of Christ’s Passion, we are free to move forward with love.

Jesus, thank you for giving me a new vision!
___
This concludes a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Questions to readers: Do you want to see the Gay Passion series again next year on this blog? Did you like seeing 1 painting per day for 3 weeks, or is it better to show them all during Holy Week? Should we make this series into a book?  Please leave a comment or contact me with your answers.

Here is a list of the whole series. Click the titles to go to each post.
Introduction
1. The Human One (Son of Man) with Job and Isaiah
2. Jesus Enters the City 
3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers
4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
5. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Prays Alone
7. Jesus Is Arrested
8. Jesus Before the Priests
9. Jesus Before the Magistrate
10. Jesus Before the People
11. Jesus Before the Soldiers
12. Jesus Is Beaten
13. Jesus Goes to His Execution
14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
15. Jesus Dies
16. Jesus Is Buried
17. Jesus Among the Dead
18. Jesus Rises
19. Jesus Appears to Mary
20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus
21. Jesus Appears to His Friends
22. Jesus Returns to God
23. The Holy Spirit Arrives
24. The Trinity

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year C), copyright © 1985-88 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

23. The Holy Spirit Arrives (Gay Passion of Christ series)

23. The Holy Spirit Arrives (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and the young shall see visions, and the old shall dream dreams.” -- Acts 2:17

Jesus promised his friends that the Holy Spirit would come. They were all together in the city on Pentecost when suddenly they heard a strong windstorm blowing in the sky. Tongues of fire appeared and separated to land on each one of them. Jesus’ friends were flaming, on fire with the Holy Spirit! Soon the Spirit led them to speak in other languages. All the excitement drew a big crowd. Good people from every race and nation came from all over the city. They brought their beautiful selves like the colors of the rainbow, and each one was able to hear them talking about God in his or her own language. The story of Jesus has been translated into many, many languages. Now the Gospel is also available with an LGBT accent.

Come, Holy Spirit, and inflame me with your love.
___
Bible background
Acts 2: Pentecost

Next: 24. The Trinity

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year C), copyright © 1985-88 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

22. Jesus Returns to God (Gay Passion of Christ series)

22. Jesus Returns to God (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” -- Isaiah 62:5 (RSV)

We can only imagine the bliss that Jesus felt when he returned to God. No words or pictures can express all the joy of a soul’s union with the divine, but some have compared it to sexual ecstasy or marriage. Perhaps for Jesus, it was a same-sex marriage. Jesus drank in the nectar of God’s breath and surrendered to the divine embrace. They mixed male and female in ineffable ways. Jesus became both Lover and Beloved as everything in him found in God its complement, its reflection, its twin. When they kissed, Jesus let holy love flow through him to bless all beings throughout timeless time. Love and faith touched, justice and peace kissed. The boundaries between Jesus and God disappeared and they became whole: one Heart, one Breath, One. We are all part of Christ’s body in a wedding that welcomes everyone.

Jesus, congratulations on your wedding day! Thank you for inviting me!

___
Bible background
Psalm 85:10: “Righteousness and peace will kiss each other”

Song of Songs: “O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!”


Other resources
Jesus in Love: A Novel by Kittredge Cherry

EroticBodyOfChrist.org
___
Next: 23. The Holy Spirit Arrives

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

21. Jesus Appears to His Friends (Gay Passion of Christ series)

21. Jesus Appears to His Friends (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“And he said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see.’” -- Luke 24:38-39 (RSV)

Jesus’ friends were hiding together, afraid of the authorities who killed their beloved leader. The doors were shut, but somehow Jesus got inside and stood among them. They couldn’t believe it! He urged them to touch him, and even invited them to inspect the wounds from his crucifixion. As they felt his warm skin, their doubts and fears turned into joy. Jesus liked touch. He often touched people in order to heal them, and he let people touch him. He defied taboos and allowed himself to be touched by women and people with diseases. He understood human sexuality, befriending prostitutes and other sexual outcasts. LGBT sometimes hide themselves in closets of shame, but Jesus wasn’t like that. He was pleased with own human body, even after it was wounded.

Jesus, can I really touch you?
___
Next: 22. Jesus Returns to God


This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus (Gay Passion of Christ series)

20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” -- Luke 24:30-31 (RSV)

A couple of Jesus’ friends met a stranger on the way to a village called Emmaus. While they were traveling together, they told the stranger about Jesus: the hopes he stirred in them, his horrific execution, and Mary's unbelievable story that he was still alive. Their hearts burned as the stranger reframed it for them, revealing how all things can work together for good. They convinced him to stay and have dinner with them in Emmaus. As the meal began, he blessed the bread and gave it to them. It was one of those moments when you suddenly recognize the presence of God. The stranger was Jesus! He had been with them all along. Sometimes even devout Christians are unable to see God’s image in people who are strangers to them, such as LGBT people or others who have been marginalized. Sometimes people are blind to their own sacred worth as incarnations of the divine. But at any moment, the grace of an unexpected encounter may open our eyes.

God, help me to recognize you.
___
Next: 21. Jesus Appears to His Friends

More resources:
A Broken Church, and the Return from Emmaus (Queering the Church Blog)

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

19. Jesus Appears to Mary (Gay Passion of Christ series)

19. Jesus Appears to Mary (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.” -- Mark 16:9 (RSV)

Mary Magdalene went to the tomb of her friend Jesus early on Sunday morning. It was empty! She started crying and someone came up to her. Mary thought he was the gardener until he spoke her name. Her heart leaped as she recognized Jesus! People had wondered about her relationship with Jesus from the start. The bond that springs up sometimes between a gay man and a woman is incomprehensible to most. They don’t understand how a man and a woman can love each other without being sexual. And why would Jesus, who had many powerful male followers, pay so much attention to a woman? Yet he chose Mary as the first witness to his resurrection.

Jesus, where are you now? Will you speak to me?
___

More resources
Jesus rises on the first Easter (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)

Next: 20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus

It’s not over! The series continues with appearances by the Risen Christ through Friday, April 29. These are some of the most creative and uplifting paintings in the Gay Passion series, so don’t miss it.

Happy Easter from Kittredge Cherry
and the Jesus in Love Blog!
___
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click here for the whole Gay Passion series or click the titles below to view individual posts in the series.

Introduction
1. The Human One (Son of Man) with Job and Isaiah
2. Jesus Enters the City 
3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers
4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
5. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Prays Alone
7. Jesus Is Arrested
8. Jesus Before the Priests
9. Jesus Before the Magistrate
10. Jesus Before the People
11. Jesus Before the Soldiers
12. Jesus Is Beaten
13. Jesus Goes to His Execution
14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
15. Jesus Dies
16. Jesus Is Buried
17. Jesus Among the Dead
18. Jesus Rises
19. Jesus Appears to Mary
20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus
21. Jesus Appears to His Friends
22. Jesus Returns to God
23. The Holy Spirit Arrives
24. The Trinity

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Happy Easter from Kittredge Cherry and Jesus in Love!

Christ is risen! Alleluia! Happy Easter to all from Kittredge Cherry and the Jesus in Love Blog!

Click the titles to enjoy our Easter videos:

Happy Easter video from Kittredge Cherry


Kitt’s Easter message with mustard flowers

Gay Easter bonnets show creativity

Christ is risen, and we are called to rise to new life! Thank you to everyone for your support.  Rejoice in the blessings of Easter!

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18. Jesus Rises (Gay Passion of Christ series)

18. Jesus Rises (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of God has risen upon you.” -- Isaiah 60:1

Christ lives! Nobody knows exactly how it happened, but on the third day Jesus rose to new life. The mystery of resurrection replaced the law of cause and effect with a new reality: the law of love. Jesus lives in our hearts now. Just as he promised, he freed people from every form of bondage. Captives are released from every prison. LGBT people are liberated from every closet of shame. Christ glows with the colors of all beings. People of all kinds -- queer and straight, old and young, male and female and everything in between, of every race and age and ability -- together we are the body of Christ. Alleluia!

Christ is risen! Alleleuia!
___
Next: 19. Jesus Appears to Mary

Happy Easter from Kittredge Cherry
and the Jesus in Love Blog!
___
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click here for the whole Gay Passion series or click the titles below to view individual posts in the series.

Introduction
1. The Human One (Son of Man) with Job and Isaiah
2. Jesus Enters the City 
3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers
4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
5. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Prays Alone
7. Jesus Is Arrested
8. Jesus Before the Priests
9. Jesus Before the Magistrate
10. Jesus Before the People
11. Jesus Before the Soldiers
12. Jesus Is Beaten
13. Jesus Goes to His Execution
14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
15. Jesus Dies
16. Jesus Is Buried
17. Jesus Among the Dead
18. Jesus Rises
19. Jesus Appears to Mary
20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus
21. Jesus Appears to His Friends
22. Jesus Returns to God
23. The Holy Spirit Arrives
24. The Trinity

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year C), copyright © 1985-88 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

17. Jesus Among the Dead (Gay Passion of Christ series)


17. Jesus Among the Dead (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die...” -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (RSV)

Like all human beings, Jesus eventually had to experience death. In effect, it was like he was buried in a mass grave with all humankind -- saints and sinners, gay and straight, male and female, all of us without exception. His body rested in peace with the other corpses. Jesus didn’t believe death was the end. During his lifetime, he often talked about the afterlife. He said he would always be with us, connected like a vine connects to a branch. But when his body lay cold in the tomb, his friends simply missed him.

God, even death cannot separate me from your love.
___
More resources
Jesus visits hell (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)

Next: 18. Jesus Rises
___
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 22, 2011

16. Jesus is Buried (Gay Passion of Christ series)


16. Jesus is Buried (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom.” -- John 19:40 (RSV)

After Jesus died, the authorities allowed one of his friends to take his body for burial. Almost all of his many supporters were gone. Jesus’ body was laid to rest in a fresh tomb at sundown, just before the sabbath began. When they buried him, they also buried a beautiful part of themselves. Sometimes the humiliations continue even after death… when homophobes picket the funerals of the LGBT people and other outcasts, when mortuaries refuse to handle the bodies of AIDS patients, when families exclude same-sex partners from memorial services, on and on. Jesus understood grief and didn’t try to suppress it. He said, blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Jesus, I wait in silence at your grave.
___
Next: 17. Jesus Among the Dead

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

15. Jesus Dies (Gay Passion of Christ series)

15. Jesus Dies (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“He said, ‘It is finished’; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” -- John 19:30 (RSV)

As Jesus hung dying on the cross, the crowd mocked him. A few of his supporters watched from the distance. Among them were his mother and the man he loved. One of Jesus’ last wishes was to make them into a new kind of family. When he saw his mother and his beloved standing together at the cross, he used some of his last breath to call to his mother, Woman, behold your son! And to his beloved, he said, Behold your mother! They were helpless to stop the tragedy, but they chose to be present and keep on loving. All the suffering of a broken world seemed to come together at the crossroads of those terrible hours. After about three hours on the cross, Jesus shouted, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Nothing left, he emptied himself completely. With another loud cry, he died. His loving heart stopped beating. The death of Jesus was unique, and yet it was also terribly common. Whenever anyone commits violence against another, Christ is crucified.

God, help me find meaning in the brutal death of Jesus.
___
Bible background
John 19:26-27: “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near…”

More resources
The Crucifixion of Christ” painting and narrative by Becki Jayne Harrelson

Jesus dies on the cross (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)

Next: 16. Jesus Is Buried
___
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click here for the whole Gay Passion series or click the titles below to view individual posts in the series.

Introduction
1. The Human One (Son of Man) with Job and Isaiah
2. Jesus Enters the City 
3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers
4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
5. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Prays Alone
7. Jesus Is Arrested
8. Jesus Before the Priests
9. Jesus Before the Magistrate
10. Jesus Before the People
11. Jesus Before the Soldiers
12. Jesus Is Beaten
13. Jesus Goes to His Execution
14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
15. Jesus Dies
16. Jesus Is Buried
17. Jesus Among the Dead
18. Jesus Rises
19. Jesus Appears to Mary
20. Jesus Appears at Emmaus
21. Jesus Appears to His Friends
22. Jesus Returns to God
23. The Holy Spirit Arrives
24. The Trinity

Please support the Gay Passion series by giving to our Easter offering.

Click here for more info about the Easter offering.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

14. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross (Gay Passion of Christ series)

14. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“There they crucified him.” -- Luke 23:33 (RSV)

The soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. It was high noon on Friday. The pounding of the hammer left no room for neutrality. People were forced to choose sides, us versus them. If you didn’t want to be a victim, you had to join the perpetrators. The psychic terror extended to everyone who watched. By abusing one person, the authorities intimidated everyone like him, everyone who was different in any way… religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever. And what about the men who nailed him to the cross? Their actions were monstrous, but Jesus still saw their humanity. He prayed, God, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.

God, help me channel my outrage at wrongdoing into a creative force for good.
___
Next: 15. Jesus Dies

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

13. Jesus Goes to His Execution (Gay Passion of Christ series)

13. Jesus Goes to His Execution (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.” -- John 19:17 (RSV)

The soldiers made Jesus walk to the execution grounds. They forced him to carry the cross on which he would be crucified. It was big news and crowds gathered along the road. They had watched Jesus rise to mass popularity, and now they wanted to see his fall. Almost everyone jeered at him. Surely some of the hecklers had been among his followers. Maybe they shouted louder than the rest to prove that they were not associated with Jesus -- like closeted lawmakers who loudly oppose LGBT rights. The crowd also included some women who wailed in grief. Jesus turned to them and said, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves.

God, my heart breaks when I remember how Jesus died. Create in me a new heart with greater ability to love.

___
Next: 14. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

12. Jesus is Beaten (Gay Passion of Christ series)

12. Jesus is Beaten (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him.” -- John 19:1 (RSV)

Pilate, the magistrate, ordered that Jesus be scourged -- a severe whipping before execution. This cruel punishment was state-sponsored terrorism against a man who defied the established order and hierarchy by teaching love for all. When they hit him, they did violence to everyone who has ever dared to be different. The charge against Jesus was treason, but his “crime” might have gone by a different name in another time and place. Governments have imposed similar tortures on people who threaten the social order in various ways, including homosexuality. The painful scourging left Jesus bleeding and in shock.

Jesus, you are no distant, untouchable God. You experienced human suffering firsthand. Be with all who suffer… and with all who cause suffering.

___
More Resources

Five Faces of Oppression from Justice and the Politics of Difference
by Iris Marion Young, political science professor
___
Next: 13. Jesus Goes to His Execution

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, April 18, 2011

11. Jesus Before the Soldiers (Gay Passion of Christ series)

11.Jesus Before the Soldiers (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus… and they stripped him.” -- Matthew 27:27-28 (RSV)

The soldiers pulled off Jesus’ clothes and mocked him with contempt. They made ethnic jokes about him for being Jewish, and taunted him as a “king” because he taught that God’s kingdom of love is here and now. They could have used “queer” or a “faggot” or “lezzy” or any other slur. Whatever the words, whenever one person insults another, a child of God is humiliated. As Jesus said, whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me. The soldiers were young men similar to Jesus in many ways. The bullying was done by the soldiers, but the religious leaders were also to blame for the cruelty. The priests had set the stage for violence by calling Jesus a sinner. They targeted Jesus, but the pain spread far beyond him to terrorize many more people.

God, wherever there is hate and violence, make me a means of love and peace.
___
Next: 12. Jesus Is Beaten

More resources

Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue
by Cody J. Sanders, Baptist minister (Religion Dispatches)

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

10. Jesus Before the People (Gay Passion of Christ series)

10. Jesus Before the People (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him.’” -- Mark 15:14 (RSV)

How quickly the people turned against Jesus! A week ago the crowds adored him. Now a mob was outside the government headquarters demanding his death. Pilate, the magistrate, wanted above all to maintain security. He made Jesus stand before the angry throng. They shouted with increasing frenzy: “Crucify him!” The chief priests stirred up the crowd, vehemently accusing Jesus of all kinds of sins. “He’s a traitor! Burn in hell!” Their words still echo today when hate-mongers tell ruthless lies: “God hates gays! Death to fags!” The magistrate saw that a riot was beginning. If one person had to die to keep the peace, then the end justified the means. Guilt or innocence was not part of the equation. The magistrate agreed to the demands of the crowd. He ordered the execution of Jesus.

Jesus, help me see my own capacities for good and evil as truthfully as I can.

___
Next: 11. Jesus Before the Soldiers
http://jesusinlove.blogspot.com/2011/04/11-jesus-before-soldiers-gay-passion-of.html

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Here is a list of the series so far. Click the titles to go to each post.
Introduction
1. The Human One (Son of Man) with Job and Isaiah
2. Jesus Enters the City 
3. Jesus Drives Out the Money Changers
4. Jesus Preaches in the Temple
5. The Last Supper
6. Jesus Prays Alone
7. Jesus Is Arrested
8. Jesus Before the Priests
9. Jesus Before the Magistrate

(more will be added as the series progresses.)

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

9. Jesus Before the Magistrate (Gay Passion of Christ series)

9. Jesus Before the Magistrate (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation.’” -- Luke 23:2 (RSV)

The priests took Jesus to the magistrate, Pilate, demanding that he impose the death penalty. His government headquarters was bustling with dispassionate bureaucrats. For Jesus, the only law was love -- outright love for God and for people. He kept quiet in this alien place where loveless laws led to injustice. They used the legal system to force an uneasy “peace” on the local people, suppressing their culture and their very identity. Pilate’s lawmakers were like those who devised today’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy or “defense of marriage act.” Pilate came from just such a narrow-minded viewpoint when he asked Jesus, What have you done? Jesus answered, I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Puzzled, the magistrate posed another question: What is truth?

Jesus, show me your truth.
___
Next: 10. Jesus Before the People

This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, April 15, 2011

8. Jesus Before the Priests (Gay Passion of Christ series)

8. Jesus Before the Priests (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy.’” -- Matthew 26:65 (RSV)

The police arrested Jesus and took him straight to the priests -- the ones that Jesus had often accused of hypocrisy. They rigorously enforced minor laws, while neglecting the purpose of the law: justice, love and faith. They were like today’s church officials who put ministers on trial for blessing same-gender relationships or ordaining lesbians and gays. The priests interrogated Jesus for hours, trying to get him to say something that could be used against him. When they asked about his teachings, Jesus replied, Why ask me? Ask those who heard me. At that, an officer struck him, snarling, Is that how you answer the high priest?! The priests watched the violence with bland indifference. There were some good men among them, but they accepted their role as part of the system. They kept silent as evil triumphed again. Violence in God’s name was routine. The unthinkable had become normal.

God, I listen to YOU, even when it goes against what the priests say.

___
Next: 9. Jesus Before the Magistrate

More resources
The Banality of Evil from Triumph of the Market by finance professor Edward S. Herman

Jesus is sentenced to death (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
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This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

7. Jesus is Arrested (Gay Passion of Christ series)

7. Jesus is Arrested (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Human One is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” -- Matthew 26:45

Jesus didn’t try to escape when the police came for him in the dead of night. He and his friends were used to police harassment and government persecution. Authorities tend to pick on the poorest, queerest and most marginalized in any society. This time they came out in force, like a small army with bright lights and far more weapons than necessary. Some of them were security guards at the temple, so Jesus asked: Why didn’t you arrest me there, when I was with you teaching out in the open? They grabbed him. He didn’t resist arrest. His friends tried to fight for him, but he stopped them, saying, those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Then they ran away and abandoned him, leaving him alone with the police.

God, you are my highest authority.

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Next: 8. Jesus Before the Priests

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Naked Lazarus flees at Jesus’ arrest (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
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This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year A), copyright © 1986 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

6. Jesus Prays Alone (Gay Passion of Christ series)

6. Jesus Prays Alone (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“If this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” -- Matthew 26:42 (RSV)

After supper, Jesus and his friends went to an isolated place. Jesus wanted to pray alone without being disturbed. He asked his friends to wait and pray nearby. He knew that his actions -- even his very existence -- brought him into inevitable conflict with authorities who wanted him dead. His extravagant way of loving challenged the power structures, the status quo. But he couldn’t deny who God created him to be. He wouldn’t stop loving. He couldn’t. He had to be true to himself. They would condemn him as a sinner because his wildly inclusive love broke all the rules. They would denounce his love as sin. They might even kill him. Jesus was in so much agony that he sweated blood as he prayed: God, if it’s possible, let this cup pass by me. I don’t want to drink it. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.

God, your will be done in my life.
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Next: 7. Jesus Is Arrested

More resources
Jesus and his beloved disciple say goodbye (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
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This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year C), copyright © 1985-88 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

5. The Last Supper (Gay Passion of Christ series)

5. The Last Supper (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” -- Luke 22:19 (RSV)

Jesus’ friends didn’t know it would be their last meal with him, even though he tried to prepare them. All his closest friends were there, including the man whom Jesus loved. Jesus snuggled his Beloved and talked about love, and then about betrayal, and then a lot more about love. Jesus said he was going away and urged them all to love each other as he had loved them. The greatest love, he told them, is to lay down your life for your friends. He handed bread to them and said something strange: Take, eat; this is my body. Then he passed around a cup of wine, saying, Drink, all of you, this is my blood. He gave and they received completely, an act of true communion. The wine tasted sweet, with a touch of bitterness.

Jesus, thank you for feeding me!
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Next: 6. Jesus Prays Alone

More resources
Jesus shares a last supper (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
___
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bookmark and Share