Yesterday, I paraphrased the teachings of Jesus as simply, “Get rid of your stuff!” Today, I’d like to elaborate on that theme a bit, hypothesizing about his view on the human race.
You see, what happened was that Jesus came down here and pretty soon found this a bewildering place. Often in his youth he would exclaim to his parents, “What the hell! This can’t really be happening! Why don’t these people get their heads out?” Mary and Joseph would often roll their eyes as they watched him grow up and periodically express his frustration with the human race. Much later when Jesus’ frustration became more intense they began to worry and once Mary even anticipated the mother of Hamlet and said, “Oh what a noble mind is here o’er thrown.”
It took a few more years of maturity but it dawned on Jesus that the problem was that people invested in the material world to the exclusion of the spiritual world. Even worse he realized that this was also true for the religious establishment of his culture, that the Jewish religious tradition was nothing but pomp and circumstance, summarizing one visit to Sunday School when he was 13 with the words, “Yada, yada, yada.” (You see, Jerry Seinfield was not the originator of this expression.”)
So decades later Jesus saw the potentates of the religious establishment together in the village plaza and overheard their conversation enough that he understood them to be sincerely discussing ways in which they could improve attendance each Sunday at the synagogue and also trying to be subtle in their comparison of the size of each others phylacteries. (Yes, Jesus did note that this probably had Freudian overtones.)
So Jesus was in a pissy mood that morning and decided just to saunter up to this august group in which he had no standing in the first place. “Hey guys,” he said, “Just a thought here. I see you guys are having a good time with this religious thing you got going on here. You really get a charge out of this ‘holy’ thing and you succeed in teaching your congregations to drink the same kool-aid. But may I suggest that you simply get over your self which will require getting rid of your stuff, certainly including this religious falderal which amounts only to the dissonant racket of ‘sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.’ If you don’t catch my drift, I’m saying your worship services and spiritual practice have become simply a lot of noise which provides you and yours a whole lot of satisfaction but does nothing for the world outside of yourself. Now forgive me, but I can’t help but liken this particular little tete-a-tete you are having this morning as reflective of the circle-jerk that I see at most of your Sunday morning dogma-fests.” He paused a moment and listened to the deafening silence and noted the apoplectic visages. “Anyway, just a thought here. Excuse me. Carry on. Talk amongst yourselves as you were doing. Oh, and have a nice day,” and he walked away.
So Jesus resumed sipping privately on his cup of latte as he watched these religious elders out of the corner of his eye. He saw them intensely discussing something and he knew it was him, he knew that he had put a bee in their bonnet; but he didn’t care. Occasionally he would catch a furtive glare from one of them as they continued to angrily discuss what he had said and they were gesticulating wildly. He occasionally heard words like “bastard” and “son of a bitch” and something about “probably was born in Kenya”, a reference which Jesus, even with his omniscience, did not understand.
After a few minutes, he saw them coming his way and he thought with amusement, “Uh oh!”
They approached him and the leader of the group announced, “Jesus, we don’t appreciate what you had to say and no one had asked you say anything in the first place. We are left with only two choices—a)ignore you and let you continue in your lunacy or b)to vote you off the island.”
Jesus interjected, with a wry smile, “And let me guess which one you have opted for!”