27 March 2016

Joy Comes With the Morning

Luke 24:1-12

Resurrection of the Lord
27th March 2016

“Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” So sang the psalmist about three thousand years ago.  Psalm 30:5, to be exact, the source for the sermon title.  Here’s how this came to be.  Several weeks ago, I arrived at the church one morning just having come from Atwater’s.  I parked my car on Beechwood Avenue, in front of the Church House, got out, closed the door with coffee in hand, thinking about nothing in particular, when I was struck by these words, almost out of nowhere, “Joy comes with the morning.”  That was it.  I thought, Hey, that would make a pretty good sermon title for Easter morning, and then, I thought, This could be the making of a pretty good sermon—but you and the Holy Spirit will have to be the judge of that.

We didn’t hear the word joy in Luke’s account of the resurrection, at least not in his story of the women at the tomb.  If you keep reading through Luke 24—and I encourage you to take time later today to read the rest of the chapter—you’ll find other occasions when the Risen Lord appeared throughout the day and region: Jesus walked to Emmaus, that evening when he was invited to share a meal with his disciples, unknown to them at first at first but became known when he “took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them” (Luke 24:30).  He then disappeared, only to reappear with the disciples back in Jerusalem, saying, “Peace be with you.”  “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:36-39) Jesus showed them his hands and his feet.  And Luke tells us that, “…in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering” (Luke 24:41).  While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.

Joy is all the more powerful when it’s not expected.  The women who went to the tomb at dawn were not expecting the stone to be rolled away.  They didn’t go searching for resurrection.  They went in their grief and sorrow and discovered in the place of grief and sorrow and death something else.  What they found was nothing; at least not what they expected to be there, for the body was missing.  And, yes, they were terrified when they realized what had happened, not unlike the shepherds, whom, we’re told earlier in Luke’s Gospel, were terrified just before they heard tidings of great joy (Luke 2:10).

Joy seems to follow Jesus around, doesn’t it?  His birth was the occasion of joy.  In an odd, paradoxical way, his suffering and death are also occasions for joy, given what God revealed to us and accomplished through them.  And, of course today is all about Easter joy!  We began with the brass blazing forth Beethoven’s (1770-1827) “Ode to Joy.”  The choirs just called us to "shout for joy."  Perhaps that’s why churches are full on Easter morning with believers and unbelievers and everything in between because today speaks to a hunger we all have, it speaks to that deep desire for joy.

It could be argued that Christianity is a “unique religion of joy.”[1]  Joy, not happiness.  They’re related, of course, but they’re not the same.  Joy is deeper than happiness; it’s far more profound.  The Greek word for joy, chara, is related to the Greek word charis, meaning grace. Joy, like grace, is a gift.  Joy flows from grace.  Grace is God’s mercy and compassion. Grace is reconciliation.  Grace calls us home.  Grace brings life and wholeness where formerly there was only sin and brokenness and alienation and death.  Grace yields joy.  And Christian joy is found in the presence of death, it’s even found in moments of senseless suffering when we experience something of God’s life in us.  Joy can be found even when everything around you seems to be falling apart and the world comes unhinged, joy can be there, nevertheless. 

This is particularly important to stress today given last week’s attacks in Brussels.  For many faith has been shaken by events.  It’s important for us, as Christians, to be Easter people, to affirm the presence of God’s joy, even in the face of terror.  Jesus said, in John’s gospel, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).  No one has the power to take away you joy.  No one has the authority to take away your joy.  So don’t allow the news to take away your joy.  I know that’s easier said than done, but it helps to know that joy can be found in the midst of pain and suffering.  This joy isn’t rational, it’s not an idea or concept. Think of it less a noun than a verb, something that happens to us, which erupts from within us, that doesn’t make any sense. Actually, little about today makes any sense, little about today is rational, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Jürgen Moltmann, one of the leading theologians of our day, put it beautifully, “Joy is strength for living, the empowerment to love, the delight in a creative beginning.  It wakes us up, and makes us alive from within.”[2]  It wakes us, like the dawn, into a new day, a new life, a new world, and then propels us forward into life, as we share something of that joy within us, knowing that new life emerges from death.  “Real joy stimulates the soul, makes relationships flourish, makes the heart light and limbs nimble, mobilizes undreamed-of powers, and increases confidence.”[3]  Joy is life in all its fullest.

Like grace, joy is a gift.  We don’t look for it; it confronts us.  We don’t try to earn it; it’s given.  We don’t discover it; it finds us, discovers us, confronts us, comes upon us, especially when we least expect it and in questionable places, such as a tombit comes upon us.  We are, then, as C. S. Lewis (1889-1963) said, describing his own conversion to Christianity, “Surprised by joy.” 

This joy might even scare the life out of us.  That sounds odd, how could joy scare us?  That’s what Brené Brown has discovered in some of her recent research on vulnerability.[4]  Her studies led her to this unexpected conclusion.  “Joy,” she says, “is the most vulnerable emotion we experience.”  It’s powerful and intense. Some people can’t tolerate it, won’t allow themselves to go there, won’t allow themselves to really feel joy.  “And if you cannot tolerate joy,” she found, “what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy.”[5] You second-guess joy, you become critical, doubtful, negative, imagine the opposite of joy.  You think real joy is too good to be. It’s not possible—all of which might be strategies to protect you from being let down or getting hurt.  But what if the possibility of joy is too good not to be true?

That’s what the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) discovered one evening in an extraordinary religious, mystical experience.  When Pascal died in1662, in Paris, a piece of paper was discovered, sewn into the lining of his coat. Here’s what was written on it:

This year of grace 1654, 
Monday, 23rd November…
From about half past ten in the evening until half 
past midnight: 
God of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, God of Jacob, 
not of philosophers and scholars. 
CERTAINTY, heart-felt, JOY, JOY, God of Jesus Christ,
Thy God is my God…
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy….

May we each experience something of this joy today, again, or for the very first time.  May we be struck by it, surprised by it, enlivened by it, transformed by it, propelled by it out into a world that is hungry, starving for joy, not for happiness, but for joy. 

May Easter joy break forth from every dark, cold, lifeless tomb!  And may we experience something of this joy here at the Lord’s Table, whether you’ve been a Christian all your life or not sure what you are now, may the Risen Lord become known to you, become known to all of us in the breaking of the bread.

[1] Jürgen Moltmann, The Living God and the Fullness of Life (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015), 90.

[2] Moltmann, 88.

[3] Moltmann, 97.

[4] See Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead  (Avery, 2015)

[5] Brené Brown, Huffington Post, October 18, 2013. 

25 March 2016

Confronting the Dark

A Meditation for the Triduum:
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday

Like most children, I was often afraid of the dark.  My guess is that most of us remember being afraid of the dark as a children too.  To calm my anxiety my mother, after she tucked me in for the night, made sure that the door to my room was not closed completely.  There was a narrow space, a crack, which allowed a narrow, sliver of light to come in from the hallway—I can see it right now—assuring me that I’m would not be cut off from the light, that I would not be completely alone.  That assurance allowed me to drift off to sleep.

Sometimes it’s all that’s needed to help us face the darkness.  Just a little light goes a long way.  Maybe you had a nightlight in your bedroom to ward off the dark—maybe you still do.  Yes, it’s amazing what even a little light can do.  Strike a match in a completely dark room.  It’s remarkable how much light a tiny flame can generate.

Light and darkness.  We need both.  One complete day consists of both.  God blesses both the night and the day in Genesis (1:5).  Both are good.  But we tend to prefer one to the other and if we have to choose one it will probably be light, which is only natural.  We need light to live. We need light in order to see where we’re going.  We need light to see one another. 

Light is associated with goodness, purity, wisdom, knowledge, truth, and divinity.  We tend to associate darkness as the opposite of goodness and purity and wisdom, knowledge, truth, and divinity.  Within the Christian tradition we, generally, privilege light over darkness.  Light=good; darkness=bad.  When we divide up reality this way, it’s easy for us to become dangerously dualistic and then turn everything into a cosmic struggle: light vs. darkness, good vs. evil, and so forth.

On Maundy Thursday, after we share Communion, we walk into the sanctuary and hear the story of Christ’s suffering on the cross and about his death.  We call that portion of the service Tenebrae, from the Latin meaning “darkness” or “shadows.”  The service ends in darkness, not complete darkness, but pretty close to it.  The story, itself, though, ends in total darkness when the stone rolls tight over the entrance to Jesus’ tomb.  That is dark.

It takes some courage to remember these days.  A majority of Christians go from the triumphalism of Palm Sunday straight to the joy of Easter morning and never walk through Holy Week, never attend to the events of Maundy Thursday or Good Friday or Holy Saturday. Some skip Palm Sunday altogether and just show up on Easter, which is okay, of course.  (I’m just grateful whoever shows up for worship on Easter.)  Still, I wonder why people avoid Holy Week observances.  I’m sure there are studies on this phenomenon, but I haven’t seen them.  There are very practical reasons, I guess, evening commitments during the week and the like.  For some, I know, it’s just too painful to focus on suffering and death.  It’s too close to home; it’s easier to stay home.  Perhaps some prefer to focus on uplifting thoughts, for all of this talk about betrayal and trials and crosses and tombs, it’s just too depressing.  Let’s be positive. Isn’t there enough pain and senseless suffering and death in the world, why should we focus on this aspect of Holy Week?  That’s a good question in light of the events in Brussels this week.

It seems to me, though, that when we a-void the void, avoid the darker aspects of this week, when we run from the shadows, when we fail to confront the darkness in the story—in us and in the world—then we overlook a crucial dimension of this good news that we will celebrate this coming Lord’s Day and every Lord’s Day.[1]  If Christ was God’s Son on the cross, and the same Christ that was raised three days later, then that means Christ was God’s Son on Saturday, too, in the darkness of the tomb.[2]  The Resurrected One is the Lord who confronted the darkness, both literally and symbolically, making even the place of darkness and death the very place that yields new life, new light—a light, as John’s Gospel tells us, that “shines in the darkness,” which darkness cannot overcome (John 1:5).  This means that even the darkness cannot separate us from God’s love.  Perhaps, then, as Christ’s people, we shouldn’t be afraid of the dark places in the world or in ourselves, because there are many people right now who do not know or cannot believe or trust or even imagine that the darkness is anything other than dark, who cannot imagine that the darkness can become a luminous place that reveals the presence, not the absence, of the Holy One.  That’s a cause for joy. 

Contemporary hymn-writer Brian Wren is even bold enough to connect the dark with joy.  The fourth verse of his hymn, “Joyful Is the Dark,” the title alone is provocative, goes likes this: 

Joyful is the dark coolness of the tomb, 
waiting for the wonder of the morning; 
never was that midnight touched by dread and gloom: 
darkness was the cradle of the dawning.[3]

Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) was an imperfect servant of the Lord, like all of us.  Perfection is not required of a saint.  She was not a servant to perfection, but to a deeper truth.  “If ever I become a saint,” she said, “I will surely be one of ‘darkness’—I will continually be absent from heaven, to light the light of those in darkness on earth.”[4]  We are called to enter the darkness for the sake of those who are lost there.  

The American poet Wendell Berry, a Christian of deep conviction, who’s also a farmer, wrote,

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.  
To know the dark, go dark.  Go without sight, 
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings, 
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.”[5]

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, let us wander through the shadows of the story and not be afraid.  Let us sit and wait—in the dark—wait for the dawning of something new to break forth from the tomb.  May it be so.



[1] On the necessity of facing the void at the heart of existence, see James E. Loder, The Transforming Moment (Helmers & Howard, 1989).
[2] See Alan E. Lewis, Between the Cross & Resurrection: ATheology of Holy Saturday (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
[3] Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), #230. 
[4] Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Teresa: Come to My Light (New York: Rider, 2008).
[5] Wendell Berry, “To Know the Dark,” Farming: A Handbook (Counterpoint, 2011).

20 March 2016

Confronting the Powers

Luke 19:28-40

Palm Sunday

20th March 2016

Why didn’t Jesus just stay in Galilee? Why did he have to go up to Jerusalem?  Knowing what happened that week, knowing what happened within the walls of the city—and then what happened outside them, at a place associated with death, a place called, ominously, Kranion, meaning Skull—why did he have to go up to Jerusalem?  Jesus knew his history, he knew what happens to Yahweh’s prophets and messengers and teachers there.

But Galilee wasn’t a safe place either.  We’re told earlier in Luke’s Gospel that some Pharisees in Galilee actually helped Jesus. They tried to warn him that Herod Antipas (20 BC-39 AD), the Rome-appointed ruler of Galilee, was trying to kill him.  Jesus said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.  Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!  How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you.  And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Luke 13:32-35).

Yes, Jesus was determined to bring his mission to Jerusalem. As early as the ninth chapter of Luke’s Gospel we’re told that Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (9:51).  Why there?  Couldn’t he have been equally effective in Galilee?

Maybe you think my questions are odd or confusing.  Perhaps you’re thinking, Of course he was supposed to go to Jerusalem and to die there for our sins.  That’s the plan.  Jesus knew he was going to die.  That’s why the people are rejoicing when they see him approaching, that’s why we call it Jesus’ triumphal entry, and that’s why they’re throwing their cloaks on the road to make a royal carpet, as it were, for the king. That’s why the multitudes of disciples are singing.  That’s what I thought.  That’s what I was taught in Sunday school.  That’s what I was told.

Well…maybe.  Except, that’s not what the text says.  But before we get to the text there are things we need to remember, things that Luke’s readers would have known but which are unknown, invisible to us.

First, for centuries the Church has over-spiritualized Jesus’ life and ministry, preaching that Jesus was born to die to save us from our sins and, if we believe this, accept him, then we get to go to heaven and be raised like him.  For many, this is what Christianity is about; it’s a good news message for the soul.  Now, at some level all of this is true, of course, but it’s not the whole story, it’s only part of it.  But when we think the message is only about our souls or our spiritual lives or how we behave it’s easy to completely miss what should be staring us in the face when we read the New Testament, namely, the socio-political context of the Gospels, the fact that Judea and Galilee were occupied by the ruthless, violent, oppressive, Gentile, and, therefore, godless Roman Empire.[1] We tend to see the Roman Empire in the background, lurking in the shadows, off in the wings, becoming slightly more visible in the drama of Holy Week.  Even during Holy Week they seem to be props that help to move the plot along.  Actually, the presence of the colossal power of the Roman Empire needs to be brought out of the shadows into the light, onto center stage, placed in the foreground.  

Yes, we know that Jesus went into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.  And because as Americans we separate church and state, because we like to separate religion and politics, it’s natural for us to view Passover as only a religious holiday, with no apparent political overtones.  But think about it.  No political overtones?  Tell that to Pharaoh!  Isn’t Passover the celebration of Israel’s exodus, their way out of slavery in Pharaoh’s empire?  Isn’t it a celebration of God’s determination to liberate God’s people?

Now, consider Jerusalem during Passover.  All of this celebrating is going on in the Temple in Jerusalem, the holiest center of Judaism, with Caesar’s legions nervously looking on—literally. Every Passover additional legions were brought up to Jerusalem from Caesarea Maritima along the Mediterranean coast, which was the headquarters of the Roman occupation of Palestine, not Jerusalem (Jerusalem was considered a backwater, inconsequential city to the Romans).  Caesar’s legions were garrisoned in the Antonia Fortress, built for the Romans by Herod the Great (74/73-4 BC), named for Herod’s patron Mark Anthony (83-30 BC), situated directly next to the walls of the Temple precinct so that the Romans could look down into the Temple area and make sure nothing anti-Rome was going on there—and there was often something anti-Rome going on there.  The Romans needed to do this because Jerusalem was a powder keg, especially at Passover, just waiting to explode.

And what we also need to know is that the leadership of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, were in collaboration with the Roman Empire and even that the Chief Priests where chosen by the Roman governor, who was appointed by Caesar.  The Temple had control over the religious life of Judea and, later, over Galilee.  In the Temple sacrifices were offered both to Yahweh—and, we know, sometimes even to Caesar, who believed himself divine.  The Jewish historian Josephus (37-100), who worked for the Empire, he was on their payroll, tells us that “it was the will of God…that Rome should rule the world and that the Jews should always cooperate and never resist that divine mandate.”[2]

If Jesus just wanted to focus on local politics he could have stayed in the province of Galilee and taken on the seats of Roman power in cities such as Tiberius or Sepphoris.  If Jesus had been arrested in one of those cities he wouldn’t have been crucified.  Herod Antipas didn’t have that kind of authority.  Jesus would have been stoned.  The fact that Jesus was executed on a Roman cross, after being tortured by Pontius Pilate (d. 37) should always remind us that it was an empire that crucified him, a form of death that was reserved only for enemies of the empire, reserved exclusively for enemies of the state.  We should remember this every time we see a cross or, maybe, wear a cross.

Yes, the New Testament is definitely political (so is the Old Testament)—the Bible is making all kinds of claim about power and how power is used and it judges the misuse of power.  It’s so easy for us to miss this.  Our eyes aren’t trained to see it, primarily because we tend to spiritualize the gospel.  Therefore we often miss what’s going on, especially here.  Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem wasn’t “triumphal.”  It’s actually an anti-triumph.  It was what we would call to today a demonstration, a political demonstration, a religious demonstration.  Pay close attention to the text—it was carefully planned street theatre.  It was all staged.  Orchestrated.  But for what end?

Luke tells us—and he’s the only one to share this—that as Jesus approached Jerusalem, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power they had seen” (19:37).  Prason dunameōnDeeds of power. Dunameōn is the root of the English word “dynamite.” What are these “deeds”? What kind of “power”? Against what or whom?  Jesus’ deeds of powers consisted of healing, extending mercy and compassion, forgiveness, justice, grace.  With these powers Jesus confronted the powers that be, both religious and imperial authorities oppressing God’s people—and distorting God’s intentions for the world.  It’s imperative for us to see, too, this was not a demonstration against Judaism—we have to be emphatic about this.  Far too much damage has been done, for centuries, because of that view.  As New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan writes, “It was a protest from the legal and prophetic heart of Judaism against Jewish religious cooperation with Roman imperial rule.”[3]

Still not convinced of the political dimension of this text?  What does the crowd shout out?  “Blessed is the king [!] who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Only Luke’s Gospel inserts the word “king.”  King?  King Jesus?  Really?  The only king in the eyes of Rome is Caesar Tiberius (42 BC-37).  You might say, Well, Jesus is a king in a spiritual sense.  That’s not what the text says.  And, anyway, what does that really mean? 

The crowds don’t let up with the next protest chant, “Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven.”  This sounds innocuous enough, sounds even more “spiritual,” doesn’t it?  Except, from a Roman perspective, the only one that grants peace is Caesar and Caesar’s peace comes through the point of a spear, through violence, sheer, raw power.  The crowds are not praising the peace of Caesar, but the peace of “heaven,” which is the Jewish way of speaking of the peace of Yahweh.  For did we not hear the angels sing to the shepherds in a field outside Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors” (Luke 2:14). Here’s another text that’s only found in Luke’s Gospel. 

Are you beginning to sense the theological bias of Luke’s Gospel?  The good news has a social, political, even economic dimension.  There’s no escaping this.  Luke isn’t talking about a kingdom realized “up there” or “out there” some place, but here and now.

It’s no wonder that the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, Rabbi, order your disciples to stop.”  Tell them to stop!  Shut them up, Jesus. You’re going to get all of us in trouble.   

Jesus was a threat to both the religious establishment and the political establishment; they were really one and the same.  The gospel is always a threat, both then and now. 

Yes, this is a politically charged text.  You might be tired of politics, given this year’s zany primary season and the race for the White House.  November seems like a very long way away!  Maybe you come to church to get away from politics, as a refuge.  Perhaps all of this makes you feel uncomfortable.  Maybe it feels inappropriate to talk about all of this on Palm Sunday, but then I wouldn’t be faithful to the text. 

God cares about governments and how power is used.  The gospel is always political, but never partisan.  God doesn’t favor Republicans or Democrats, capitalists or socialists.  Every political ideology and economic theory stands under the judgment of God and each one is judged inadequate. 

What is clear, though, is that God is always for the people.  God is always on the side of the marginalized and the weakest, God is always on the side of the most vulnerable members of our communities, such as children. God is always for the poor, both the poor in spirit and the poor in resources.  As that great American prophet and mystic Howard Thurman (1899-1991) said, the gospel of Jesus is for the “masses of [women and] men who live with their backs constantly against the wall.”[4]  That’s where Jesus always is and that’s where his followers are needed most today.

Remember how Jesus began his ministry?  According to Luke (and, once again, only in Luke’s Gospel), we’re told that after Jesus’ ordeal in the wilderness he began his ministry in worship on the Sabbath in the synagogue in Nazareth.  He read from a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.  And what did he read?  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:16-20).

Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down.  With all the eyes of the synagogue fixed on him, he said, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

This is the one who entered the city that day—the one who would be betrayed, arrested, tortured, tried, falsely accused, and executed by the powers.  And yet—and yet!—this one, this one God will raise up from the dead, vindicating his mission and his message!  It’s as if God is saying, “See, I’m with him!  I’m on his side.  And all who follow his way.”  

In Christ we see God demonstrating 
deeds of a different kind of power, 
the power of life over death, 
the power of God that liberates and sets free, 
the power of love, 
the power of peace, 
the power of grace to redeem and restore, 
to heal and make us whole—whole!  

Even when the Caesars of this world try to shut him up 
or shut him down or even try to kill him, 
God always stands with the Resurrected One, 
who continues to bring good news to the poor, 
release to the captives, 
recovering of sight to the blind, 
liberation for the oppressed, 
declaring the Lord’s favor—the Lord’s favor! 
Causing joy, Easter joy to break forth from every dark, cold, lifeless tomb!  
That’s the good news!  
Thanks be to God!


[1]  On the religio-political power dynamics of Roman Palestine in the first century, see Marcus J. Borg & John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week:  A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007); John Dominic Crossan, God & Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now (HarperSanFrancisco, 2007), 128ff; Richard A. Horsley, Jesus and the Powers: Conflict, Covenant, and the Hope of the Poor (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011), 155ff;
[2] This is John Dominic Crossan’s summary of Josephus’ statement in his Jewish War (5.367), “God who went the round of the nations, bringing to each in turn the rod of empire, now rested over Italy.”   Crossan, 131.
[3] Crossan, 132.
[4] Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Beacon Press, 1996), 13. Originally published in 1949.