The devotional passages below each work of art/image, by the artist F. Douglas Blanchard, reflects my own and not the artist’s written point of view or theological beliefs.
(I see this modern Jesus as an every modern day common man set against what appears to be the current high tech fascist state of the new global culture which says so much to me and in line with the theme of this blog. That overlaid with the standard Jesus story and or myth of history.)
Devotional by M. McShea
Inspired by Artwork “The Passion Series”
by F. Douglas Blanchard
One (1) – The Son of Man
The purpose of man has always been the myth of man.
The story of man has always been about his potential.
The man, the seed, plants the tree of the future.
The tree of man bears many fruits and abundance.
The family, the tribe, the myth binds the whole.
The whole is the definition of the (us) All.
Two (2) – Jesus Enters the City
The heart of Rome is her cities, her town square,
Her forum speaks the thoughts, feels of the people.
If I have the word and am the word then I must
Speak to the heart of the empire to change what
Is wrong into what is right and spread love of
The word and truth to all culture and peoples.
Three (3) – Jesus Drives out the Money Changers.
I went to pray in the house of stone.
I wanted to meditate on myself and my Deity.
I sought refuge from the outside world of strife.
All I found was the loud clank of chump change
Of priests emptying offering boxes.
I sought refuge and found none. Oh God!
Four (4) – Jesus Preaches in the Temple
The crowd grew hot and sweaty as I spoke.
I told of my dreams, shared fractions of light.
The stir of emotions on long dead stares
Lit up into the eyesight of vision and possibility.
The crowd became too large to carry one voice.
For an exit sign I searched and finally eyed.
Five (5) – The Last Supper
The warmth of the gathering, friends, strangers,
Family distant from the outside weather and
Negative political elements revives soul(s).
The food was cheap and from a warehouse
Doled meagerly to the poor. The spirit was rich
And mellow and full of human life, purpose.
Six (6) – Jesus Prays Alone
Alone I pray, meditate, gather my thoughts.
Focus. Focus on mean possibilities.
Things are harder to do than once I thought.
If I die, who will continue my cause
Who will bring down the temples and chains
Of oppression? Who among them can do it?
Seven (7) – Jesus is Arrested
In a dark city street a group of men descend
From squad cars and on foot. The helicopter
Overhead throws its accusing beam on me.
This was not a random act. This was done
With a heart in service to the evil in men at
Expense of the many without voice or hope.
Eight (8) – Jesus Before the Priests
How dare you think that God listens to you.
Your words, of a country fool, an abomination.
We in the city understand strength, power and
God’s purpose (to serve only us of the cloth).
You have made your last trouble. Too late
To go back. You have made too many enemies.
Nine (9) – Jesus Before the Magistrate
There was a riot in the house of prayer when
You spilled the money changers' tables.
There were deaths in the riot, Rome to our
Rescue. You are to blame. No need for trial.
Emergency powers to protect our freedom.
Death is to you, your poor silly fate.
Ten (10) – Jesus Before the People
The curious have gathered, opposite the square,
From the Hall of Justice. The crowd stares and
Enjoys too I think. They are full of rage towards
The State and they blame me for my failure to
Save them. They scream hate as I am driven
Off, handcuffed in the back of a paddy wagon.
Eleven (11) – Jesus Before the Soldiers
These soldiers are pigs. No rules or dignity
To any prisoners. Mocking. Slapping.
Down on your knees. Kicking. Spitting.
Obscene nursery rhymes. The taste of blood
From broken teeth pours out of my mouth.
Knives scrap and pull and cut. Pain. Pain.
Twelve (12) – Jesus is Beaten
Dachau. Abu Ghraib. Administrative Detention.
Hands bound and numb tied, held above.
Whips. Lashes. Broom handle’s thrust
Into ribs and private places. No life left
To protect. The State begins to sign off on,
Decommissioning, a failed citizen of the State.
Thirteen (13) – Jesus Goes to His Execution
The long dark corridor from cell block A to B
Seem miles apart, full of regret, pain and numbness.
The greater vision lost in the smell of blood,
Sweat, urine, breath. A momentary pause.
Turn the corner. Unlock a new door. Further
Along closer to death and final relief – release.
Fourteen (14) – Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
The execution is televised. A traitor will die.
Strapped to a piece of wood. A needle, piercing
steel set in place, hands and feet bound. A
signal given. Death takes its time to flow from
from head to toe. How strange. They can kill me.
I conquer life in death. Vision fades to black.
Fifteen (15) – Jesus Dies
A roar unheard from the couch potato audience.
Time for a new round of Pepsi, corn chips and
Don’t forget to flush. Commentary talking heads
Continue. Active crowds outside the prison gates.
And among the many a few – who did for Jesus
Cry that day a grand but simple tear.
Sixteen (16) – Jesus is Buried
The criminal’s body is the property of the State.
A bribe to inquire whom of many else to bride
In the coroner’s office to release a dead body.
No time to clean the body or do rituals, prayers.
A rich donor has bestowed the bribe money and
Quick burial before the State can change its mind.
Seventeen (17) – Jesus Among the Dead
On the new global spreadsheet I am nothing,
Not even a true number, even as a commodity
I only have a temporary value, mere slave of
Market place whim, taste, greed and profit.
As a whisper in my mind I have value.
I am (was) a Man. I am (was) a Human Being!
Eighteen (18) – Jesus Rises
The light within doth shine. The maker of me
Does not hide from me. I am thought and love.
I am not animal but man. The thought of me,
The essence of me was brought out by my
Creator. I cannot die. I live. I breathe. I love.
I am. I am who am. I am all mankind.
Nineteen (19) – Jesus Appears to Mary
With distant love I beheld you and wanted
Your aching, grasping, loving arms to embrace.
I had another purpose and I flew from your
Desire. Desire in me was no less but desire for
All others created such stress. Your fulfillment
In me goes beyond a body of me, (we are) soul.
Twenty (20) – Jesus Appears at Emmaus
The real me perhaps never really sat down
With you. I was another person with another
Face, another fate other than some mate you
Meet with over coffee. My regrets of not
Being a simple man are now satisfied. I am
Grateful that you see the real me in me.
Twenty One (21) – Jesus Appears to his Friends
A symphony of relief. A cloud of grief
Is lifted. I went beyond the veil and return
For a while till I fade from simple view and
Memory. Touch me. See my wounds of life,
Scars of death. It was all a dream but really
Not a dream. More like some Greek tragedy.
Twenty Two (22) – Jesus Returns to God
Cannot linger. I from beyond the veil must
Remain behind the veil. Otherwise effort
Is lost without the purpose of searching.
Life is a search, a quest. And in the end
It all drowns away into silence, warmth,
Love. Returning to the womb of God.
Twenty Three (23) – The Holy Spirit Arrives
Purpose. Purpose. My sword of light is
Focus and flight among the weak who
Cannot travel by foot, or see with eyes
Or think beyond the grunge of day to
Day living. Arise. Awake. See. See as
He saw. Be of like mind and purpose.
Twenty Four (24) – The Trinity
Before purpose and energy and light of
Creation I was and still am. I remain the
Same. Where there is life, there is God.
Spark and breath, heartbeat of Creation,
Of and with purpose and flow in union
w/Sacred Wisdom’s milk, energy, life.
* * *