For some real-er Jesus than Don Kopp will ever see bungee-jumping from a thunderhead, I turn to a faithful reader who reader submits the following quote from her "liberal/hippy" Lutheran church's weekly e-mail blast:
This is my belief: that at the heart of Christianity is a power that continues to speak to and transform us. As I found to my surprise and alarm, it could speak even to me: not in the sappy, Jesus-and-cookies tone of mild-mannered liberal Christianity, or the blustering, blaming hellfire of the religious right. What I heard, and continue to hear, is a voice that can crack religious and political convictions open, that advocates for the least qualified, least official, least likely; that upsets the established order and makes a joke of certainty. It proclaims against reason that the hungry will be fed, that those cast down will be raised up, and that all things, including my own failures, are being made new. It offers food without exception to the worthy and unworthy, the screwed-up and pious, and then commands everyone to do the same. It doesn't promise to solve or erase suffering but to transform it, pleading that by loving one another, even through pain, we will find more life. And it insists that by opening ourselves to strangers, the despised or frightening or unintelligible other, we will see more and more of the holy, since, without exception, all people are one body: God's [Sara Miles, Take This Bread, Ballantine, 2008].
If you gotta do Jesus, do Jesus right. He didn't want his words to become a parlor game. He wanted his words to motivate people to act. Feed the hungry. Speak truth to power. Do justice and love mercy for all. And believe that against all our fallibility, we can do good.