Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Labels

Noodling about with the idea of identity in this week's reading from the RCL:
Matt 16:13-20, I was reminded of an old sketch by Rikki Fulton, in his persona of the 
Rev. I. M. Jolly, commenting on a baptism and forgetting the child's name.
'Spindonna Jaiket' comes the reply from the father.
The Rev. is bemused by these strange new names that people feel the need to come up with...
he begins the baptism 'I baptise thee, Spindonna, in the name of...'
and is interrupted hastily by same parent, pointing to the label on the wee one's gown upon
which the child's name has been pinned -
'No you fool, there! There! Spindonna jaiket!'
[which in a good Weegie accent = It's pinned on her jacket]
From that ridiculously silly sketch, I began thinking about labels and identity and the questions 
Jesus poses to his disciples -
'Who do people say I am?'
and
'Who do you say I am?'

Anyway, from my noodling and silly dialect sketches came the following:

Labels/
Labels: 
John, the baptiser;
Elijah, ravens’ friend
(and occasional flame thrower);
weeping Jeremiah, perhaps,
in an echoing well?
A prophet –
just a random
one for any occasion?
The expectations of the people
are pinned on Jesus’ jacket
but cannot
pin him down.

Another label:
the One,
the Son
not just any old son...
this One
is of the Living God.
Not wood,
not stone
but flesh and blood
and bone.

Somehow,
in the mystery,
God has put skin on
trying on ‘human’
for size:
becoming
a waymarker
pointing us
to life
less wooden,
to hearts
less stony;
showing,
in who He is,
whose we are
and what it means
to fully live.
Our expectations of the Promised Messiah
are pinned on Jesus' jacket...
while we
are pinned as Jesus’ own.

c.Nik Mac 2020

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