Birthday of Clarence Jordan | Naming the Days

Some individuals learn the Gospels to know doctrine or verify their cultural perspective; others, to know the best way to stay. Clarence Jordan was one of many individuals who noticed within the Gospels a mannequin for a way Christians are known as to behave on the planet, and he turned a mannequin and a mentor to many others.

Jordan was born on July 29, 1912 in Talbotton, Georgia. Even when he was rising up within the Baptist church, he could not perceive how Christians may abide by racial segregation. He selected to review agriculture in order that he may assist sharecroppers study scientific farming methods, however modified course when he felt known as to the ministry. He served as pastor of three rural church buildings after which, eager to combine these two callings, he moved together with his spouse Florence, their younger youngsters, and a Baptist missionary couple to a red-dirt acreage close to Americus, Georgia. There they established Koinonia Farm (from a Greek phrase for “fellowship”) a spot the place they envisioned black and white individuals may work collectively. They started with these rules:

All individuals are associated in God’s eyes.

Dwell in accordance with Christ’s love.

Frequent possession, with distribution in keeping with first-century Christian rules primarily based on want, not revenue.

The Jordons caught with their dedication to this imaginative and prescient even when it meant gunshots and boycotts of their farm produce from neighbors who despised them. In the meantime, Clarence was doing a little outstanding writing. He’s maybe finest recognized for his Cotton Patch Gospels, Epistles, and different Cotton Patch books, by which he makes use of down-to-earth and shocking phrases and imagery to make New Testomony texts come alive.

Koinonia remains to be going sturdy as a spot of peace and unity. In 1968, along with Millard and Linda Fuller, the Jordans launched Koinonia Companions, which included a constructing program that ultimately developed into Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers labored side-by-side with future owners to construct easy, first rate, reasonably priced properties.

On October 29, 1969, on the age of 57, Clarence Jordan died in his writing shack on the farm. In response to the Georgia Encyclopedia, “the native coroner refused to return to the farm to pronounce him useless.” We are able to solely think about the grand welcome in heaven, although, for somebody who understood and lived by what Jesus demonstrated to us all.

To Title This Day:


Select considered one of these quotes right this moment and think about the best way to incorporate its knowledge into your life, in honor of Clarence and Florence Jordan:

“Religion will not be perception despite proof however a life in scorn of the implications.”
— Clarence Jordan, The Substance of Religion: And Different Cotton Patch Sermons

“God will not be a celestial jail warden jangling the keys on a bunch of lifers — he is a shepherd searching for for sheep, a lady looking for cash, a father ready for his son.”
— Clarence Jordan, The Substance of Religion: And Different Cotton Patch Sermons

“Despite the fact that individuals about us select the trail of hate and violence and warfare and greed and prejudice, we who’re Christ’s physique should throw off these poisons and let love permeate and cleanse each tissue and cell. Nor are we to permit ourselves to turn out to be simply discouraged when love will not be all the time clearly profitable or nice. Love by no means quits, even when an enemy has hit you on the fitting cheek and you’ve got turned the opposite, and he is additionally hit that.”
— Clarence Jordan, The Substance of Religion: And Different Cotton Patch Sermons

“A distinguished professor as soon as got here to the farm whereas Clarence was engaged on a tractor. The person mentioned, ‘I want to communicate to Dr. Jordan.’ Clarence wiped off a greasy hand, prolonged it, and mentioned, ‘I’m he.’ The person responded, ‘No, I want to communicate to Dr. Clarence Jordan.’ Clarence insisted that he was the one the person was on the lookout for. After repeating his request, the professor lastly bought in his automobile and left. A number of days later Clarence obtained a letter from the person, expressing that he was infuriated with the impudent assist that Dr. Jordan managed to maintain round.”
— Joyce Hollyday in Sojourners, December 1979, Vol. 8, no. 12

Religious Apply

Drawing from Joyce Hollyday’s biographical essay in Clarence Jordan: Essential Writings, Plough Quarterly shares this story:

“The Sermon on the Mount continued to gas ­Clarence’s message. From these chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, which he known as ‘the platform of the God Motion,’ he drew a profound critique of materialism, ecclesiasticism, and militarism, which he noticed as essentially the most highly effective forces competing for individuals’s minds and hearts. He had no respect for ostentatious Christianity or the self-righteous religiosity so rampant in Southern Christian tradition. ‘That cross alone price us ten thousand {dollars},’ bragged a pastor as he gave Clarence a tour of his church.

” ‘The time was you could possibly get them for nothing,’ Clarence shot again.”

A life like Clarence Jordan’s offers him the authority to come out with a quip like that: humorous, incriminating, but by some means not even judgmental. Most of us stand to study quite a bit from him.

At this time, make a listing of 5 or ten possessions that you simply most affiliate with who you might be. These might be something: a potter’s wheel, a automobile, a hoop, an heirloom pitcher, a piano, a pc, a holy statue, a e book. Write them down the left aspect of a web page, and create two columns throughout the highest. In a single column (“Enhances”), write the best way {that a} given possession enhances your capacity to hold ahead your imaginative and prescient in life. In one other column (“Holds Again”), write any methods by which the possession holds you again. Spend a couple of minutes noticing something fascinating you’ll be able to study from the checklist about the way you need to act in direction of your belongings.

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