Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Who (or what) dominates us? Who (or what) is our Lord?
[dominate, from Latin dominus = lord.]

This is fron the introduction to the book Quotations from Chairman Jesus (1969, Templegate Publishers; 1971, Bantam Books).

"Christ is Lord," the first Christians shouted in a counter-accamation to the insistence of the Roman state that "Caesar is Lord." This was their way of proclaiming that Jesus Christ, not the current emperor in Rome or colonial governor in Palestine, was the only source and criterion of the christian's life. To make the same point today we use another phrase with a twist --- "Chairman Jesus" --- to say that Jesus alone, expressed in the actions of conscience and a life which seeks brotherly community, has our final and total commitment. Anything given to Nixon (or whoever is president or chairman where we live) is given provisionally, always subject to the condition that what his power asks or demands does not contradict our conscience, our humanity.

In the end, of course, the best presentation of the gospels is one's own life. But we must do this "translation" together. QUOTATIONS FROM CHAIRMAN JESUS has come from the attempt of one group, Emmaus House in New York City, to answer the question always before us: what is the meaning of Jesus for our lives now, for men in general?

We have many questions, not many answers. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we are searching: we risk the unknown, putting everything to the test. These are the notes of fellow searchers, travelling with the rest of men, sharing what we have experienced and discovered so far, "like one beggar who tells another beggar where to find bread."

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