What good is the good news?

What good is the good news?

And the church that proclaims it
all its bloody complicity
or worse –
the crusades,
slavery and the lynching tree
violence against women and queers.

All blessed, by priests and theologians
proclaiming a conquering Christ as Lord
and forgetting the punch line
– it’s the slain lamb that conquers.

And yet,
where else should we go?
Who else has words of eternal life?
Though we deny him,
Christ is still with us
as his body, the church harbors
dangerous memories”,
a truth that sets free.
From the lies
of white supremacy
of never-ending war,
of the meaning of life being found in a mall
or in pledging allegiance to a flag
or company, or revolutionary cause.
Jesus sets us free to strive first for that strange “Kingdom of God”.

Brother Martin spoke of “building the beloved community.”
The love he meant is not sentimental,
it’s an “unsettling force in our complacent national life”,
it repents of sins past and present,
it speaks truth to power,
it breaks down separating walls of hostility
those of concrete and those in our heads.

It’s a love of enemies,
which does not deny we do have enemies
but, remembering our own conversion,
envisions theirs.

This love is long-suffering.
It knows
it’s working “with the grain of the universe”.
It has time
to rest, dance and drink tea
knowing the Spirit acts in serendipity.

That’s the good of the good news,
it’s the only good news I know.

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