Lately, I’ve been pushing Jesus away.
Christianity was the religion of the people who enslaved my ancestors and forced them to abandon their own religious practices in exchange for a blonde-haired, blue-eyed god-man. So I’ve been holding a bit of a grudge against the Nazarene.
And then I had a dream. A young woman was doing yoga in front of a book entitled “PAY ATTENTION TO JESUS. PAY ATTENTION TO HIS WORDS. NOT HIS “WHITENESS”. JESUS. WASN’T. WHITE.
It was a long title, I’ll admit. But I got the message. The teachings of Jesus are a kind of yoga. A way to re-align one’s self with the Divine will. His ethnicity shouldn’t be a point of contention for me. Not anymore.
For me, walking the path of Christ is not about professing to believe in the right god so that you can go to heaven and avoid hell.
For me, walking the path of Christ is about loving your neighbour and your enemy as yourself, in order to bring heaven to earth, and catching all kinds of hell as a result.
It’s the path that leads to the cross. Jesus said it himself. “If you follow me, you will be mocked and ridiculed and crucified.”
I suppose that most cult leaders say that to their followers – and they’re right. When a society sees a person or a group of people behaving oddly or differently, their immediate impulse is to vilify those people. Sorta like white blood cells attacking a foreign body.
Nobody could accuse Jesus of being normal. His execution seemed almost inevitable, even laying aside the “it was all God’s plan” business. He was just causing too much trouble.
Maybe if he’d been rich, it would have been a different story. If you have money and you act weird, they call you eccentric. If you’re broke and you act weird, then you’re crazy.
The statue depicts Jesus as a vagrant sleeping on a park bench. St. Alban’s Episcopal Church installed the homeless Jesus statue on its property in the middle of an upscale neighborhood filled with well-kept townhomes.
Jesus is huddled under a blanket with his face and hands obscured; only the crucifixion wounds on his uncovered feet give him away.
The reaction was immediate. Some loved it; some didn’t.
“One woman from the neighborhood actually called police the first time she drove by,” says David Boraks, editor of DavidsonNews.net. “She thought it was an actual homeless person.”
That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.
Sounds about right.
“Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head.”