Note to a Friend Who Surprised Herself Last Month by Reading Ten Various Historical Critical Political Theological Books about Jesus

by Mark Chmiel

Dear Flannery

Jesus
Jee-zus
Yesh
Son o’ God
Messiah Numero Uno
Christ the King
Son of Man
Son of Mary and Joe
Champion of the poor
Pre-incarnation of Che
Founder of the Church?
Believer in the Reign of God
Summoner of the Kingdom
Embodier of that Kingdom
People pray to him
People talk to him, but not in Aramaic
People cheer in his name
People killed in his name
People burned the Talmud in his name
Russian pilgrims trudge through the snow repeating his holy name
Aryan Jesus
Yiddish Jesus
Fundamentalist Jesus
Vedantist mystic Jesus
Taoist Jesus
Feminist Jesus
Resurrected Jesus
Jesus on the Rez
Jesus saves
Jesus dies for us even the pagans in Paraguay?
Jesus Logos
Jesus cousin to Socrates
Jesus knows your sins (and loves you anyway or will damn you if you don’t genuflect)
Jesus like no other
Jesus the one and the only
Jesus the Cosmic Christ
Jesus superstar
Jesus storyteller
Jesus Torah Jew
Jesus not one jot not one tittle
Jesus in the Warsaw Ghetto
Chagall Jesus
Kazantzakis Jesus
Is there a Flannery’s Jesus?
“Who do you say that I am?”
Who do we say that he was?
Who do we say that he is?
How much does it matter?

That we can tell each other next Thursday
Russian Tea Room, 5 p.m.
You bring your Tolstoy
I’ll bring my Dostoevsky
We won’t get to the bottom of this

Perry

from novel-in-process, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

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