Rejoice: A Subversive Mardi Gras Reflection
By Rev. Paul Raushenbush
Rejoice! Here comes the parade, with those undesirables, rabble-rousers, and revolutionaries shouting, singing and twirling, dancing as Jesus enters Jerusalem in the form of the Mardi Gras crew and the Carnaval Escola de Samba from the favelas, proclaiming the world as it really is. Dance, dance, dance and poke, poke, poke the high and mighty so that those who puff themselves up and over are lanced and the illusion of their majesty crumples as the poisonous gas deflates and their empty shell lies plain on the concrete as thousands, millions parade over them, wearing mock pearls, and donning their own personal crowns, all princes, and princesses of our own realm, all royal, each one majestic as freedom is proclaimed and realized with every step, every song, every dance, every kiss.
Tomorrow we die, or are reminded we will, with ash on our forehead we will repent. Our penance is not for the fat, for the hilarity, for dancing naked or almost naked in the streets with our eyes closed and our spirits lifted. We do not repent of the irreverence, the displaying the naked truth of the falsity of those who would rule our hearts, bodies, minds, souls. Rather we repent that all days are not spent in the Carnival of liberation where we taste and hear and feel the divine joy that comes from the upside-down world where the those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, shall be satisfied. We will fast, we will hunger for that Mardi Gras world of justice and joy to come on earth as in heaven and we will remember our dance.
But today, rejoice, join the parade, eat of good food, with honey dripping down and proclaim what is real: the liberation, the sweet, sexy dance of all people. Rejoice for today we glimpse the eternal carnival that is always present. Rejoice!