I was listening to some country music a few days ago (hush), and one of the songs provoked a few thoughts.
I've had this conversation lately, about Jesus and the nature of his life, his purpose, and what he'd think if he popped in for a visit right now. Yeah, I'm still pagan...but some of us don't entirely pooh-pooh the idea of a man name Jesus who was an extraordinary man, a teacher, a healer, and an all-around decent guy. We just don't view him as the one and only son of a particular God, sent to earth to redeem us.
I don't think he'd like what he sees being done in his name. He didn't seem to be the sort of fellow who'd give a fig about who one slept with, or how often, or for what purpose. He didn't seem awfully concerned with marriage, or money, or status symbols. Temples weren't his sort of thing. He hung out with his generation's version of hippies, bums, and prostitutes. He didn't care who you worshiped - if you were hungry, hurting, in need...he answered. He embodied loving compassion and enacted it constantly.
If Jesus came back today, I think he'd be hanging out with us pagans. Yep. I think he'd be bangin' a drum at the fire, hangin' in the woods, eating, drinking, and smoking whatever's being passed around, howling and singing to the moon and stars. He'd share what he had and take what is freely given. He'd join in our potlucks, our community meals, our tent cities. If he needed shelter, it would be there. Shoes, no worries. Pants, socks, a toothbrush? Someone will have a spare to lend or give (I don't care if he is some God's son, once he uses the toothbrush, socks, or undies, they're his to keep...although the market on eBay would be incredible..).
We're not perfect...we squabble, flake, and judge as much as any group...but even when we don't particularly like someone, we won't let 'em do without.
I think Jesus would dig that.
I'm not saying there aren't any Christians who fit the bill...I know a few truly good people who happen to believe in Jesus as their redeemer. They may not always understand my paganism, but they don't throw rocks at my head, either. It's sad, though, that so many more members of his father's church, supposed followers of his path, are anything but Christian.
They judge harshly, seek to punish all who do not believe as they do, turn their backs on their fellow humans, and mistake wealth and its trappings for godliness. They scorn the natural beauty of the world they've been given, raze trees and hilltops to build monuments to the god to whom they pay lip service, edifices of brick and mortar that resemble nothing as much as prisons for the soul. They pour money, time, and other resources in these churches rather than using them to help build their community. They are focused on appearance, not substance.
I don't think they're his people.
Honestly, sometimes I think the folks who claim him as their own would lock him in the booby-hatch if he came back today as he was his first time through. You can perform miracles? Sure, sure...here's a nice room for you, and some pills that'll help with that...
Yeah, I think if Jesus should happen to return, he'd be camping in the woods, dancing at an old, reclaimed strip mine in Ohio or out in the desert in California or leaping the fire at an African bush camp. He'd be losing himself in the silence of the Never-Never, surfing the wild waves of the Pacific, climbing an ancient tree to bend with it in the wind. He'd sleep beneath an overpass, on a steam grate, in a shelter, and he'd eat at a soup kitchen, out of a dumpster, at a stranger's table where an extra place is set.
He wouldn't look at what church one claims, or what name one gives their god/s...he'd see us for who we are, down deep, where labels can't stick...his people...
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.