|The Edge of Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica|
Some days ago I was taking pictures of some signs hung on the gate to a small Rasta camp.
A man came forward to ask what we (an international group of more than a dozen) were all about.
The signs, he said, were his creations.
He told us of the need for jobs and factories so that people in the city could be employed.
Churches? We should close them all and make them into factories, he said.
Jobs, not churches, will save.
"It's not 'Jesus.'" "It's just-us!"
Later, he went on to say that “the New Year is not actually when we think it is, you know.”
In Babylon, the calendar is a lie.
The following day we met a Rasta priest named Prince: "Priest Prince." He also told us about how Rastas celebrate Christmas on January 7. This day is also the birthday of the earth, of all creation.
The birth of all things New.
And it's not the day we think it is.
One member in my first congregation loved to go on an on about when the real date of Christmas or Easter is, or when the Sabbath should REALLY be celebrated. He loved shows on the History Channel that exposed conspiracies to cover up the REAL days.
If you’re a “well-adjusted” citizen of the world as it is, this may all seem silly.
Why bicker about "arbitrary" days? But from the point of view of those twisted into the ground by the systems—those crushed by the dominating constrictions of time (created and enforced by economic systems) and the oppressive expectations placed upon the poor by the powerful—a resistance to the calendar is simultaneously resistance against the powers that control time itself—and those ancient powers who, in great arrogance, named the months and days after the gods who blessed their own lust for domination.
Faithfulness to the One who desires a just and liberated world,
means nonconformity to the patterns of this world,
including the pattern that so often dictates the work and play of the body everyday:
We pray for the Day when skeletons play, the lion lays down with lamb. Time is no more, tears are no more. We feast on the fruits of the land.