Texts: Psalm 27; Luke 13:31-35
Clarence Jordan was widely known as a dramatic and compelling speaker and storyteller. He is famous for having founded Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia – a pioneering interracial farming community in the deep South during the 1940s. In the 1950s and early 1960s he and his followers braved violent physical, legal, and economic reprisals in making their colony a success. Jordan is also famous for his translations of the New Testament into unvarnished modern American English. Of his writings, it has been said that the Gospel’s nitty-gritty comes through with bite and hope, speaking to racists, politicians, the rich and the poor, black and white, people of faith and people with little faith. His words are a “sun-drenched and sweat-stained realism that cuts across millennia to bring new relevance to Christian beliefs about humanity and God.”
Listen now to Jordan’s translation of our Gospel text for today, Luke 13:31-35.
Just then some church members came to Jesus and said, “You better clear out of here in a hurry, because Governor Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus said to them, “Go tell that sly old fox that today and tomorrow I’m casting out demons and carrying on my healing work. The day after that I’ll be finished. You know, I’ve got to keep going today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, because it just isn’t proper for a prophet to get killed outside the state capital.
“O Atlanta, Atlanta, you who crush the life out of your people of God, and ostracize those who try to show you a better way, many a time I’ve wanted to bring your citizens together as a hen gathers her biddies under her wings, and you would have none of it. All right, your city’s future is left up to you. But I’ll tell you this: you won’t see me around again until you’re crying out, ‘Please, God, send us some dedicated leadership.’”
In the spirit of Clarence Jordan, let’s bring it a little closer to home.