My experience with sermons in the white churches I’ve been to, and with my mother-in-law who went to the local Baptist Church here, the sermon was good if it was a good speech, one that carried out a rational discourse on Biblical Truths, and so the sermon was judged on its content. The minister stood still behind the podium in the churches I grew up in.
But at Mt. Nebo the delivery was the content. It’s like the difference between the cup and the alphabet soup. Marshal McKluhan said the. Medium (delivery system) is the Message (meaning).
This is the difference between the body’s language and the mind’s language. At Mt. Nebo the sermon is not abstracted from the body, a head talking with no body movement. When someone is communicating with us, is their body language at one with the head language? Does what the do (which is the body) agrees with what they say? AT Mt. Nebo there is no split between the body’s language and the mind’s language. Thought and action are one voice.
If someone asked me what the one single thing that divided white from black it would be this. The Native Americans had this problem with the invading white people: “They speak with forked tongues.” Translating, the body has one message and the talk as another message. The medium is the message, remember.
The meaning is not what is said but what is being done. Take Trump for instance (I hate to do it but this was just on Morning Joe)…..Trump, that is.
His base is like a church congregation who believes what he does and pays attention to what he says. So when he make cuts, attacks their “evil empire” that’s the message they want. The message they want is the message if defiance, resistance, and destroying anyone who attacks them(Trump). Trumps body language, Trumps sermons at his political church speaks this message.
But I digress. AT Mt. Nebo the sermon (head talk) and the body (action) are one. And this unification of the split between mind and body is a joyous reunion. Any people whose bodies are segregated and demeaned, find themselves internalizing this conditioned split between their own mind and body. It’s called self-loathing.
But at Mt. Nebo there is no split, no segregation between mind and body, between white and black. There is no back of the bus at Mt. Nebo. There is no forked tongue at Mt. Nebo.
This deep Grand Canyon in America that divides the body from the mind is not just in America but in Western civilization itself. The split began with the Enlightenment and the birth of science. “I think therefore I am,” said Descartes, who created the paradigm for truth in our rational scientific world. Head dominated the body and divided the world into mind versus the body, white versus black. This is the recipe for self-loathing because when you are divorced from your own body, your are divorced from Being itself. But at Mt. Nebo the exiled have come home, At Mt. Nebo the lost children have been found.
When the Body speaks, it’s message is “I sing therefore I AM!” And it is this message of joy in the body to which we must listen if America is to heal its split tongue, it’s self loathing. “When Jesus Walks,” Jesus is walking in our body not only in our minds. The foots steps of Jesus are the sound of dancing feet of joy, not the thoughtful steps of being in accord with the conditioned past.
Jesus breaks out of time, breaks out of the prison of the past, and takes his rightful seat in the timeless Now.
What I’ve discovered after I left the church and my desire to find a place in that fold, is that Christian churches and their message have been painting into the tiny corner of compartmentalize time on Sunday Morngin. The rest of the week is divided up into time slots for a fragmented life. Time for work, time for this and that. But the Timeless whole has been left in the. small spot in the corner on Sunday.
There is no practice, there is not means one can pursue during the week to spread that timeless paint in the corner into one’s everyday life. The Joy cannot be spread because we have no idea how to do it, because the world is painted in the hard dried cold paint of Time. We. beed to carry of bottle of turpentine with us to soften up the pain of time when we feel it.
What we need is a practice of meditation and mindfulness that works like turpentine on the thick coat of Time.
We say time is our most precious commodity. Yes…but nothing can hold out treasure. It is always flowing though our fingers because we believe that we can hold time tomorrow when I get better conditions. We say, I’m losing time now, but tomorrow I can hold it. But tomorrow is time. We can’t hold time with time because time is always flowing out. Time cannot hold time. But what can?
Only the Timeless can hold time because the Timeless has no minutes or hours or years that tick away. The Timeless cannot be measured. The Timeless, because it can’t be measured, has no value, no reference outside of itself. So in time we say, What good is the Timeless? In time we say the Timeless is in the future, and it is only then that I can relax from the hurry of time. Why put off the celebration, I say.