Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hobo Jesus

This economy sucks. Every week another person tells me that she or he has lost or is about to lose their job. It is a bit tough to keep upbeat, you know? On Sunday I included a reading from The Muslim Jesus by Tarif Khalidi. This book is a collection of sayings from Jesus and stories about him from the Islamic tradition. Muslims think Jesus was cool. To honor him and to emulate what they thought he was about they made up a bunch of stories about him just like Christians did. Here is the one I read on Sunday:
The day that Jesus was raised to heaven, he left behind nothing but a woolen garment, a slingshot, and two sandals.

Jesus used to eat the leaves of the trees, dress in hair shirts, and sleep wherever night found him. He had no child who might die, no house which might fall into ruin; nor did he save his lunch for his dinner or his dinner for lunch. He used to say, “Each day brings with it its own sustenance.” p. 94.
Whatever comes we need to care for the least of these and we need to care for children, the sick and the old folks. The rest of us? Hell, it is an adventure. I don't know if I can convince my lovely of this but maybe it is time to unload all of this accumulated crap and ride the rails.

If I was king of America I'd say to use this trillion dollar bailout money to rebuild our railways. Let's get rid of these damn cars. Railroads everywhere. That way I can ride from hobo jungle to hobo jungle with my hobo bride and my loose-leaf bible.

You know what a loose-leaf bible is right? It is your own bible that contains accumulated wisdom from a variety of sources. You can move the pages around in it and add new ones. If some control freak tells you you have to read his bible because he thinks it is the true one, you can tell him to kiss your hobo butt.

I know this economy sucks. It is scary. We can't get all bummed about it, otherwise we get depressed and mean. We have to keep upbeat, keep connected, tell jokes, and make up some good tunes. Above all, be kind and generous.
Each day brings with it its own sustenance.


  1. Always good to be reminded that it is important to stay upbeat at times like these.

    We lost 45% of our retirement savings (so far). I wouldn't mind getting it back from Wall Street via their bail-out, but it isn't gonna happen.

    So what do I plan to do? Stay as healthy as possible, so that if I end up joining you in the jungle, I can at least raise a hammer or grow some food or do something to help others as well as myself. I will give myself to the world, and hope for the best!

  2. I am so sorry about the retirement savings.

    I need to invent some kind of ritual in church to help us process this.

    I will give myself to the world, and hope for the best!

    I think that is the best attitude to keep sane.

    God love ya, Snad!

  3. That's a terrific book, isn't it? When I noticed the tradition you mentioned (and others like it) I couldn't help but notice the similarity with the emphases of the Cynics, of whom Jesus was supposedly one, according to the Jesus Seminar...

  4. The cynic whether going back to an early memory of Jesus or later was a popular description for him. I do like that book.

    I wonder how big a book it would be that collected all the sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus from all traditions.

  5. Awesome blog. I googled "hobo jesus" looking for a quote about how Jesus was a traveler--to help me write my next blog (about the traveling life). And I stumbled upon your wise words. Jesus was very cool, for sure. And making a Loose-leaf Bible is a great idea. Keep up the good work!