REVERB, IVAR HILLESLAND: INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY – PROPER 23C

REVERB, IVAR HILLESLAND: INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY – PROPER 23C

In fourteen-hundred-ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know
How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board;
Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep;
And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land;
They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true,
You never saw a happier crew!

….

 

He thought it was India, but the idiot was wrong
Turns out there was land in-between all along

Where millions lived long before he ever came
long before we ever celebrated his name

Christopher Colonialumbus. No, that’s not a cloud
that’s a genocidal asshat who murdered the proud

Columbus first encountered the Taino Indians,
who were peaceful Arawakans from around the Caribbean

The Taino were friendly and happy to trade
so we gave them diseases and made them our slaves

Columb-ass then forced them to find him some gold
and dismembered or killed those who didn’t do what they were told

“Gold, Glory and God” were the green in his greedy eyes
Hey congratulations, sir! Have some dead natives with your prize!

And Ferdy and Isabella gave him 10% of all the swag
Like a tithe where you take money and act like a douchebag

They financed his voyage on anti-muslim missionary fervor
Inspired out of Granada by the Christian slaughter of Berbers

“I think they can very easily be made Christians,” Colombus once wrote
kicking off the colonization of the Americas from his boat

If God is on our side then the world must be ours
Let’s take what we can and convert through our wars

Go make disciples of all the earth
drag them all to our second birth

take their labor and land for the trade
Then give them our own version of Jesus to obey

We’ll teach them to submit and respect our God-given civility
forget all the stuff about love and humility

Jesus said that stuff, but let’s focus on this
We’ll offer them bliss (then betray with a kiss)

We’ll make foreigners out of the indigenous people
Colonize the F out of this place from the comfort of our steeples

The Manifest Destiny, it was the best thing, you see?
We said the west was free, while we oppressed generously

And I’m not saying that we’re free from the guilt,
We’re damn well responsible for the church that we built

Now we hide slavery in institutional evils
killing colored people beneath the false guise of equals

There are only two men we celebrate nationally each year
Martin Luther King Jr. and this prick right here.

And even though we credit him first European on shore
The Vikings had “been there done that” t-shirts made 500 years before.

…Though, I’m not saying they were any better…
They also made sure to violently steal their treasure

_____

So what does this all have to do with today’s Gospel?
Well, allow me to go ahead and tell you, Apostles

In the year of our Lord, say 33-ish
There was this guy. He was Jewish.

He got in some trouble for the things that he said
he resisted the empire and they made him dead.

So, in Luke 17:11-19, the Gospel reading for today
Jesus was stopped by ten lepers on his way

They wanted to be healed, so in him they put their trust
they cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

He cured the ten lepers and sent them away
and nine of them took off, but the foreigner stayed

He ran back to Jesus filled with joy and thanks
while the other nine just took it to the bank

And this was a Samaritan, (not that we should care)
But they were considered the skum-of-the-earth, biologically impaired

Once again to the marginalized, God’s grace was revealed
And once again it was the outsider who was truly healed.

Sure, the nine lepers were physically cured
But the Samaritan one was spiritually matured

These lepers were castaways, sent out on their own
Separated from community and out all alone

And health is far more than not being infirm
It’s about being part of community for the long-term

The Samaritan was healed but also made whole
And it was in giving thanks that he restored his soul.

It’s easy to forget all the gifts we’ve been given
even forgetting to give thanks that we’ve been forgiven

It’s built right into us, this idea that we deserve,
everything in this world held for us in reserve

Meant for the taking like Mr. Columbus,
The manifest destiny for our own abundance

But if God gave us this world as a gift for living
They why do we claim it? Isn’t a gift meant for giving?

…And then at the end, Jesus drops this bomb
A refrain throughout scripture, sung like a psalm

He says, “your faith has made you well”
uh…does that mean sick people are going to hell?

One of the worst evils the church has done
is teach people wealth and health must be won

by being super swell and always doing good
if you want to get rich, then do as you should

But seriously screw that fucked up theology
Our lives should be grateful and filled with doxology

It’s easy to think we deserve what we get
Work hard to earn, success with our sweat

But faith makes us well when it’s about grace
faith in God – is faith in giving thanks

And everything we have comes only from God
Each particle to laud, each second to be awed

And that’s why we run back here every week
Straight up to this table to hear God speak

It’s the same Greek word “Eucharist” the Samaritan said,
to give thanks in this place where we get the wine and the bread

We all come as outsiders, selfish and greedy
We all come hands outstretched like the needy

We come like the Samaritan to be restored to each other
each mother and father, each sister and brother

all those we’ve hurt and continue to neglect
all the people we’ve burned, the relationships we’ve wrecked

We come for forgiveness, we come to be changed
We come to be sent to love the world in your name.

So on this eve of Indigenous Peoples’ Day
remember the millions we displaced on the way,

And while we stand on this Duwamish land
Remember to repent and give thanks for where you stand

And in the end, here’s my advice for you
to remember this one simple thing to do

When you’re deep down dirty, living in the grit
Just raise your voice and, seriously, give thanks for some shit.

 

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