Cross and Noose

Jesus is murdered by the state.  He is betrayed by his own religious leaders in cooperation with the state. His crime? Extending God’s shalom–for the poor and outcast, and judgment on those who put barriers in the way of that shalom. Jesus dared to put the poor, the outcast, the minorities, the outsiders first and those who had money and power second.  He proclaimed that all lives mattered  only when the the lives of the outcast and poor matter.  Jesus proclaimed #BlackLivesMatter. The result? The lynching of God.

The political establishment tells Jesus that his death is his own responsibility. The political establishment tells black, brown, sexual minorities, the poor, the outcast, that they need to pull themselves up by their boot straps, and clean up their own communities. The political establishment and the establishment of money and power never are held accountable.

There were two eighteen year old black men trying to hail a cab in Sacramento.  The cabs kept passing by. I walked up to them and hailed one–it stopped right away–and as they got in, the driver said to them, “I stopped for  the white guy,” and I handed him money and said–“And this knows no colors–take them where they want to go.”  Let’s be honest, racism, bigotry is present in all of society.  We need to look within ourselves and own our part. We need to break out of our shells, our little conclaves we live in.  Recently a person asked me “How can you talk to that woman, she is republican?” I laughed and said, “Well she is my friend”.  Let’s look at ourselves, and see the pain we cause, the division we cause. In the last couple of years I have been face to face with death–and when you are, what matters is love and caring, and acceptance of people. All the boundaries that separate us disappear when you see the Angel of Death hovering around.

James Cone challenges us when he says that “until we can see the cross and the lynching tree together, until we can identify Christ with a “recrucified black body (and I add, queer, brown, immigrant, Muslim) hanging from a lynching tree, there can be no genuine understanding of Christian identity in America, and no deliverance from the brutal legacy of slavery and white supremacy.”

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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