The Farmer Theologian and The Vagrant Son of God

Submitted by Joshua Enns on March 2, 2012 - 8:17pm

Jubilee - the year where the Hebrew people where to upset the established power structure in their society and restart on more equal footing for all. Jubilee Partners – an intentional Christian community that provides space, place, language and the invitation to embark on a journey of love to those who have lost their place, lands, and lives due to oppressive power structures and conflicts.

What people? What purposes? What work? Two weeks ago, these leading questions prompted my introspective thought on the upcoming trip to Jubilee Partners in Comer. Now, after the trip, I sit and try to find time to think. I have put thinking on hold for a week. Midterms, schoolwork, dishes and memorizing proofs about the infinitude of primes occupied me. Occupation is consuming – my thoughts drowned in polynomials with integer coefficients (mod p). Fortunately, occupation does not last forever – I find time to sit. I find time to read scribbled notes from last week and I find time to think.  

I think the questions of people, purpose and work have seductive, oversimplified answers within the thought train of Christian community.

People? Everyone. Especially the marginalized (prisoners, homeless, poor, addicts) for that is where God is.

Purpose? To fully live, constantly called to return to the path of love in deeper and more sincere ways.  

Work? Embodying love (Jesus, Romero, the radical Martin Luther King Jr. etc.) in the world.

The problem with these answers is there is no clear-cut Google map route. Navigating the road of true life is not that simple. The Jubilee community, if anything, shouts that loud and clear. Yet, they try to swim the murky river of faith-based decision making every day. They are not perfect. In many ways they rely on systems of domination to exist and by so doing perpetrate the systems they work to end (i.e. donations that come from the mechanisms of capitalism, which by its existence oppresses people around the world). Yet they do good work, especially with refugee families. They make peace; establish empathy, change lives and swim towards hope. Seeing their community made me think hey, I could do that too. In short, what Jubilee Partners is doing is working to increase the love in the world. They are a group of farmer theologians who live with the land, get dirty, make mistakes and try to love against the tides of individualistic, violent, capitalistic North American culture.

How does experiencing Jubilee change me? How do I fold this inside of myself? How does it fold me inside of it? It inspires me to continue seeking. To continue living in search of life and ask how to make my faith active in ways that turn oppressive power on its head through the humble force of love. (If you are reading this consider watching this: “The Cost of True Oil” and getting people to sign this: PETITION to act in love of the earth :).  

 “The only solution is love, and love comes with community” (Dorothy day)


The Reality of Love (A poem inspired by those I met at Jubilee Partners and those I travelled with)


Soft, true lips. Bodies open to embrace touch.

Clothes, walls, fear – fall to the earth overwhelmed by love

Rough, good-working hands. Cut and calloused fingers interlock and clutch.

 Isolation, emptiness, busyness – fall to the earth overwhelmed by relationship

Strong, intentioned feet. Dancing and determined to destroy the distance between us.

Disparity, apathy, normalcy – fall to the earth overwhelmed by interconnectivity


Soft, true lips.

Rough, good-working hands.

Strong, intentioned feet.


Meet here. Meet now.

Inside me. Inside us.

You are the midwives of life.






Meet here. Meet now.

Inside me. Inside us.

You are the midwives of life.


Incite understanding of the past,

Burning passion for the present and,

Holy hope for the future.




Josh, you are such a poet, in written and in spoken word and deed. It has been great reading your posts and travelling with you.