You may or may not be aware of this, but….Christ is coming back (apparently now that Cher’s done with her Farewell Tour, there’s an opening for JC!). The date is May 11 (I believe, though I guess it’ll be kinda obvious when/if he does come).
I, for one, hope he does.
Not because I’m a Christian. I’m not I’m in the camp that believes there’s one true Christian: Christ; one true Buddhist: Buddha; one true Muslim: Mohammed and that, rather than follow other’s footsteps we should–to quote Osho–”build our own path to our own temple”, perhaps looking outside to others’ paths for guidance, but–mainly–looking within to follow our own souls.
No. I hope Christ comes because maybe he can knock some sense into this crazy world we in which we’re currently living.
I mean, maybe it takes Christ to know some sense into the mega-churches I passed today as I spent a glorious Easter Sunday afternoon driving across central Georgia. Maybe Christ could ask them why they feel the need to advertise their worship services with big flashing marquees that put His house on par with the gas station…or gentleman’s club…just down the street. Maybe Christ could ask “If you have to market my word are you, in fact, following my word?”
Maybe if Christ were able to borrow someone’s iPad and read today’s New York Times…assuming, of course, that person was both smart enough to understand the Times’s new convoluted formula for paid online viewing…and stupid enough to pay for it…but assuming he did find that person…maybe Christ could read the news. Maybe Christ could ask our national political leaders why they put their own elections (and re-elections) ahead of the American people–of all ages–who, despite working hard (now or in the past) simply cannot…make…ends…meet. Who begin every meal not by asking “what am I hungry for?” but “what can I afford?”. Maybe Christ could look those politicians — from both sides of the aisle–in the eyes and, again, say: ”whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers (and sisters!) that you do unto me”.
Maybe if Christ were able to look on that same said iPad and scan Facebook and follow the activists on both sides of virtually any issue…maybe he could ask why it is that both sides are increasingly so dependent on vitriol and hate and why it is that causes are now so much more about careers than about results. That hate is hate…whether you cloak it in the Bible or in civil rights; in an Earth’s right to breathe clean air or a patriot’s right to protect the flag.
Now, of course, if Christ did show up on May whenever, no doubt he’d scan Facebook, the Times and the grand temples filled with religious size queens…and chuckle. And he’d no doubt borrow the words of Rumi (a fellow enlightened one) and say to all the self-appointed self-important ones: ”Come, come, whoever you are. Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”
And he’d invite those “selfs” to join him in a church much like the one we have in my neighborhood in the Treme. It’s a Catholic Church (though I don’t believe they have a picture of Benedict in his Prada finest). St Augustine’s is its name. It is filled with people who smile at strangers; who wake each day seeing commonality, not superiority; who spend their lives celebrating life’s most precious gift. Which is, of course, simply… life. Celebrating your life. My life. Our lives.
And, if he came, I believe Christ would turn to those “selfs”, point at that Church that is filled with people, not power, and say “this is why I came.”