A Conversation with Colleagues: What Do We Know About Jesus?

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text]

I was recently pleased to participate in a wide-ranging conversations with my colleagues at UNC Charlotte as a guest on their ongoing series “Conversations about Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed.” You can listen to or download from iTunes. This program is dated 8/17/2017 but please browse some of the previous ones as well and bookmark or subscribe as you wish to the series.




When the Deal Goes Down

When The Deal Goes Down

In the still of the night, in the world’s ancient light
Where wisdom grows up in strife
My bewildering brain, toils in vain
Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air
Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why
But I’ll be with you when the deal goes downWe eat and we drink, we feel and we think
Far down the street we stray
I laugh and I cry and I’m haunted by
Things I never meant nor wished to say
The midnight rain follows the train
We all wear the same thorny crown
Soul to soul, our shadows roll
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

The moon gives light and shines by night
I scarcely feel the glow
We learn to live and then we forgive
O’er the road we’re bound to go
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours
That keep us so tightly bound
You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed the winding stream
I heard a deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they’re not what they seem
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You’ll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that’s sayin’ it true
And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down

Copyright © 2006 by Special Rider Music


The Morning After Death

The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth, —

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R.W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

When the Bough Breaks

There are many speculations as to the origins and meanings of the late 18th century nursery rhyme Rock-a-bye-Baby. Once I became old enough to think about its meaning, its chilling final lines “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, down will come baby, cradle and all” have given me sober pause. I have come to see them as a kind of cipher for unspeakable tragedy.

“I heard the news today oh boy.” Bowie used the line in his 1975 song “Young Americans” and Dylan included it in his tribute to Leon “Roll on John.” It opens that last cut on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. For those of us old enough to remember that album’s release in 1967 there is much to think about in those lyrics.

A text message last night at 7:15pm EST shattered our world. One of those unexpected lines out of the blue announced by that familiar ding on our smart phones when a new text arrives. It was from our beloved friends Dave and Patty Tyler:

Our son Daniel Tyler just passed away. We are devastated

Dave and Patty are musicians par excellence. David in addition has a mathematical mind like a steel trap and Patty has a voice that is truly transcendent and beyond this world in power and feeling. She is one of the truest souls I have ever known. I know their hearts are utterly broken and a thousand lines from the music they play, sing, write, and love, and the Scriptures they have built their lives around, are flooding their souls. Such times are especially hard for artists as their souls are tuned to a perspective that is as painful at times as it is insightful. A flurry of texts and a touching call with Dave a bit later filled in a few details. Daniel was on a job in Nebraska. Yesterday he began to feel weak, like something was wrong. He was checked out medically and released, but ended up collapsing and dying later in the day in his hotel room. Dave got a call from the ER with the news.

Oh boy.

Of all the pain we humans can experience surely that of losing a child is at the top of the top of any list. But there is no word such as orphan, or widow, or widower. No naming or labeling the pain. As one of our friends put it last night, who has experienced the same, there is simply nothing one can do or say. So I will say no more here but I felt this early morning, waking up at 5:33am, after a tossing night of thinking about the Tylers, I had to at least write this with this touching picture from Patty’s Facebook page of a happier time so that captures her wonderful personality and love as well as that of her dear firstborn son Daniel.



About Genesia

Peace by William Strutt 1845
Peace by William Strutt 1845

The Greek word Gensia (γενεσία) refers to birth or new beginning–much like our English word “Genesis.” The vision of this very personal blog site is fundamentally captured in the ancient metaphorical vision of a “new earth” portrayed by Isaiah the prophet in the Hebrew Bible:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Creator as the waters cover the sea.

 This radical transformative message requires an extension of our highest human ideals of peace, harmony, justice, and love to “all creatures great and small” as well as to the planet that we all commonly inhabit.