United Church of Christ

Making Great Bread

Therefore if anyone be in Christ, that person is a new creature. - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

One of the people I respect the most in the world has just died. He is Bernie Glassman, founder of The Greyston, a bakery in Yonkers that employed people after they got out of prison. 

I like people who do things. Glassman did things.

One of the things I don't always like about people who do things is the way they take themselves too seriously. That's why I treasure the clown nose that I got after Bernie's funeral. Bernie had a red clown nose that he wore in meetings whenever he thought people were taking themselves too seriously. At his funeral, at a certain moment, the packed house all put on red noses to indicate their love of Bernie's powerful sense of non-attachment. Yes, he was an engaged Jewish Buddhist. Yes, he was an intense activist. Yes, he had a clown nose. Yes, he was all those things on wheels.

I'm not sure that becoming a new creature is something that gets done once and for all. In fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. We can be self-obsessed. We can forget about another people's suffering. We can forget the name of Jesus at dawn, at noon, and at eventide. 

Becoming a new creature appears to be a full-time job—that pays very well and employs people who have just come out of prison, over and over again.

Prayer

When we take ourselves too seriously, O God, tell us a joke. Amen.

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. If you have any questions, contact us.