Here is something I was thinking about last night as I was watching a movie (?) called Jesus of Nazareth on PBS:
Jesus is sooo cool.
We’ve been in the Gospels the last few months at church, and when you read the story of Jesus at a relatively quick pace, (or when, say, Johnny Cash reads it to outloud, for example) it strikes you just how close-minded and stubborn and wretched human beings really are. Jesus does all kinds of crazy magic tricks one minute, and the next minute, his disciples are totally a.) surprised when he is able to do it again, or b.) terrified when they’re out on a boat with him and it gets a little bit wavy or something.
Time and time and time and time and time again, poor Jesus has to explain to the disciples that they should not be afraid, and to trust him — like, within 15 minutes after he’s raised somebody from the dead or something. Then he has to explain his parables to us (and thank god he did because I never understand those stories) over and over again.
I love when you get little glimpses of his impatience with us and he seems to be like, “ugh, why do I have to work with these idiots?” But at the same time you can feel his sense of relief when somebody gets it for once, and he gives away the keys to the gates of heaven for the winners. He really does love us — dopey, grumpy, sneezy — the whole bunch.
AND the cool thing about Jesus is that, contrary to what you find in many Christian churches today, he was ALL ABOUT being inclusive toward those who were the social rejects. And he did this on many levels. If you were a zealot and wanted to fight the Roman soldiers who were in power and enslaving your people, he would heal a Roman soldier in front of you. If you were a high priest, he would totally heal a whore right in front of you.
All are welcome at my father’s table, he says.
Yes. Everyone is welcome. Seriously.
The other cool thing about him is that I guess we were all expecting the Messiah to be this Mel Gibson-esque Braveheart character who would arrive with huge pecs, a sword and pyrotechnics or something, and here comes this carpenter from Nazareth riding into Jerusalem on a donkey telling us the first will be last and the last will be first. PRICELESS.
The dude is ALWAYS trying to challenge our perceptions and beliefs and ALWAYS for the better. That is why I LOVE being in a relationship with him because he does the same thing for me every day that I let him. I get stark ravin’ mad whenever he exposes some sort of devil in me. And it’s HARD to find something or someone to follow who is ALWAYS RIGHT. EVERY TIME! IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!
He really just wants us to love God and be nice to each other. It’s so simple. It’s a wonder how America turned out the way it did because we are a Christian nation, right? I mean, our pastor is teaching us that Jesus made specific efforts to cross cultural borders and heal people that his followers didn’t trust or even hated. Jesus is probably very confused by this pro-America rhetoric. Or the pro-Republican or pro-Democrats. The dude wasn’t much into social clubs. I’m also pretty sure he was at least a socialist, if not a communist. We all saw how he responded to capitalism. Weird.
Anyway, I was almost brought to tears by how cool he is and how lucky I am to know him and love him when the show was interrupted by its sponsors — some cheesy and terrible religious group who reminded us no less than 5 times that they had paid for the show to be aired without commercials. A husband and wife couple (the wife was wearing a purple fuzzy frock of some sort and the father was talking about how he doesn’t understand how his kid can look up movie times on his cell phone) And my first thought was, “UGH! PUT JESUS BACK ON!”
In other words, I was like “BUT –THAT GUY?!” and Jesus was like “Dude. What did I just tell you?”
So, wow. I have no idea how or why God continues to put up with us. We are so LAME. And the Christians are the LAMEST ones of all.
And, when left to our own devices, man, we really eff up religion in every way imaginable. Yet the source remains awesome. I have the coolest supreme being of all, though, and that makes me feel good.
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