Happy Birthday, Jesus
Happy Birthday, Jesus. It’s your day, so I looked up some of the really good things you said, just to remind folks why today is important.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) [We made a lot of people mourn this year, but we've been a little slow on the comforting part.]
“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5) [I think these people understand this.]
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7) [We kinda forgot about that when we rounded up a few hundred families before Christmans and put them in what were little more than concentration camps]
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) [Yeah, people like this.]
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:10) [We should start looking into that.]
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45) [We now use video war games to get ready for more real war, even though we know it's just crazy.]
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24) [I hope this is true.]
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. [We promise to start checking into that sort of thing, starting next year.]
And He said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN." (Matthew 21:12-13) [They turned everything into a robbers' den.]
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." Matthew 23:23 [Guess we didn't pay much attention to that one.]
"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me. . . . Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." Matthew 25: 40, 45) [There's probably a whole archive of stories on how we're not doing too well on that one.
Lately a lot of Christianists have been saying and doing things that don't sound like you. Some recent examples:
"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran . . ." Rep. Virgil Goode R-Va. [I like Juan Cole's response.]
"I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people." — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, shown here.
Last night, at RevDeb's Christmas Eve service, they sang It Came upon a Midnight Clear, by Edward Hamilton Sears, including the third verse:
But with the woes of sin and strife The world has suffered long; Beneath an angel strain have rolled Two thousand years of wrong; And man, at war with man, hears not The love song which they bring. Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, And hear the angels sing.
I'm sorry this last year was so bad, and I'm especially sorry about all the Christianist wingnuts. You don't deserve all the mean and thoughtless stuff they say and do in your name. Seems they just got screwed up along the way and missed your point.
You were a good person who actually cared about people; you minstered to the poor and the sick, and you fed the hungry. You forgave your enemies, even those who falsely used your name. So Happy Birthday, Jesus. We promise to try harder next year, and that’s our gift. Hope you like it.