Over the centuries, we have done an impressive job at sanitizing Christ’s message. We have made Jesus “Mr. Nice Guy” because surely, he wasn’t an agitator! But why then would his old friends, and his neighbors, and pretty much the entire village of Nazareth try to push him off the cliff? And why then would his own family think he was out of his mind and try to confine him in the privacy of their home? And why then would those with power want to get rid of him? And why then would the Romans eventually kill him?
You see, there’s this conventional, shallow Christianity that has been marketed to us for years – it’s this distorted interpretation of our Christian faith that has surely but slowly become engraved in the ministry and the teachings of the churches and congregations throughout the United States. It’s entitled, it’s full of privilege, it’s consumerist, it’s focused on comfort, it’s selfish and oftentimes even hostile – and it doesn’t resemble Jesus very much at all.
I guess we let petty little things drive us away from each other and from what Jesus has taught us. Somehow self-centeredness and privilege have become BFFs and we have convinced ourselves that, indeed, it is all about me – all about my comfort, all about my benefit, my safety first. No wonder that as a nation, we are so deeply divided. Yet Jesus, though not a Mr. Nice Guy in a way our day-and-age typically regards him, he saves the world, and us, in spite of ourselves and there’s no stopping that. Now that’s what I call a truly good news!
Happy Monday, beloveds,