Send in the Clowns!

The Kingdom of God is a party!” So says Tony Campolo (and Robert Farrar Capon, and John Crowder, and Ben Dunn, and Sara Miles, and Bruce Chilton, and Hafiz…need I go on?), but so few people believe this.

I’ve mentioned previously my admiration for what Bruce Sanguin is attempting with a genuinely tradition-honoring yet scientifically-sensitive approach to Christian spirituality. So imagine my delight in a recent reading of If Darwin Prayed when I discover this poem – a feast for those who hunger after Jesus in all his subversive fullness. Enjoy!

Send in the Clowns

john 2:1–11

O Holy One,

what good news it is

that when the wine of abundant life gives out,

you find a way to keep the celebration going.

Just when we are convinced that the worst thing

that can happen is what always happens,

you send bright signs

that the party has just begun.

Just when we are happy to descend into despair,

you send in the clowns

and place party hats atop our frowning faces,

daring us just to try to not smile.

Into this world of wonder,

your beloved Cosmic Celebrant came,

with the last word on the subject—

silencing the political party poopers

and the religious prudes—

pronouncing blessing without end

and no good reason to stop the music.

Hallelujah! Blessed is your name.

Amen.

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8 Responses to “Send in the Clowns!”


  1. 1 tana May 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    that’s pretty awesome.

  2. 2 brotherjohnny May 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Good prayer for me today. Thanks.

  3. 3 buddysimpson June 3, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Praise the Lord, for He is Good

  4. 4 bruce sanguin June 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks folks for being open minded and enjoying the prayers.

    Bruce (Author of If Darwin Prayed)

  5. 5 Mark Nielsen June 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks, Mike & Bruce. As a fellow poet who dabbles in some of the same “crossover” themes, it looks like I might need to pick up Bruce’s book.

    I’d also like to direct any of you “science-minded” (but faith-full and flexible) readers to a site I helped put together called Quantum Pork. I’ve only got a couple of articles up there, but here’s a big one on the New Atheists, the fossil record bait-and-switch, and Francis Collins (Human Genome Project leader and Christian apologist):

    http://www.quantumpork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26:proteins-and-parlor-tricks&catid=29:qp-philosophy&Itemid=12

    There’s another essay of mine on the same site about Monsignor L’Maitre, the Catholic academic who is most likely the originator of the Big Bang theory.

    Some of the other Quantum Pork contributors (mostly Chicago-area non-academics, but a few national names) are more theologically or politically conservative than I am. Not all great writers, nor claiming to be. Just a discussion site on matters of science and faith. But they do generally help make sense (historically and sometimes theologically) out of the swirling mess that the Intelligent Design/Evolution debate has become (not to mention an accessible-but-informed critique the anti-Christian, pseudo-scientific, spiritually wounded, near-hate-speech of some of the New Atheists… i.e. Hawking… what a waste of a brilliant mind, wading into metaphysics, where he clearly doesn’t belong).

    Jesus was the original mystical scientist… Mr. Water-To-Wine himself.

  6. 6 zoecarnate June 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I like it, Mark! Thanks for sharing.

  7. 7 tomstannard September 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Very interesting to see your journey


  1. 1 Tuesday, May 24: The Delight of Despair | zippersandrivets Trackback on May 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

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