Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jesus Returns

The world tried to keep Jesus at bay.

Obscurity. Poverty. Illegitimacy. Displaced. Refugee. Semitic. Subjugated by empire. Resisted by clerics. Blasphemer. Heretic. Unpatriotic. Treasonous. Arrested. Tried. Tortured. Executed. Buried.

Odds were against a comeback.

Then the church elevated Jesus beyond reach.

Born of a virgin. Sinless. Messiah. Christ. Son of God. Divinity. Savior. Ultimate sacrifice. King. Godhead. Heavenly. God’s right-hand-man. Supreme judge.

Way out of our league, beyond our capabilities, out of this world.

Sophisticates simply dismiss Jesus.

Myth. Fairy tale. Unrealistic. Idealistic. Impractical. Parochial. Unnecessary. Confining.

Yet Jesus returns.

Jesus returns again and again to every generation, to every nation, to every culture. We may fail to see him because of color, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion, and every other way Jesus is manifest in “the least of these” who are ignored by “the powers that be.”

The “second coming” has multiplied exponentially and yet we still miss out when we are distracted, literalistic, pessimistic, cynical, selfish, egotistical, xenophobic, or just plain stupid.

Jesus is as near to you as yourself. As near to you as another person and creature and landscape and horizon. As near to you as the deepest need, the greatest joy, the most passionate love, the most inspired art, the most enduring peace. Jesus is everywhere, if only we taste, touch, smell, listen, look, feel, think, contemplate, and breathe.

Jesus is as natural as we are. And we have as much potential to be his presence and recognize his presence in others when we make room for him in our schedules, provide for him in our economies, and allow his values to shape our policies and politics.

Move aside, headlines and headliners! Jesus returns.

According to the Gospel according to Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis’ real life friend and fictionalized protagonist: 
Christ is born, my wise Solomon, my wretched pen-pusher! Don’t go picking things over with a needle! Is He born or isn’t He? Of course He is born, don’t be daft. If you take a magnifying glass and look at your drinking water—an engineer told me this, one day—you’ll see, he said, the water’s full of little worms you couldn’t see with your naked eye. You’ll see the worms and you won’t drink. You won’t drink and you’ll curl up with thirst. Smash your glass, boss, and the little worms’ll vanish and you can drink and be refreshed!  

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Copyright © 2014 by Chris R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and blogsite. Other rights reserved. 

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