Jesus’s Christmas Wish List
Well, ladies and gentleman, it’s time to break out the spiked eggnog and yuletide cheer. Time to don those dilapidated Santa hats and reindeer antlers all while adorning your house with more lights than a Vegas casino. The holidays are upon us. And though I do not ascribe to Christianity per se, I genuinely cherish this time of year. You see, I may not buy into the inherent religious ramifications of the occasion, but I do openly embrace the spirit of the season itself. In fact, I dig me some Jesus. Some may struggle with the implied conflict between the inceptive symbolism of the birth of the presumptive savior and the materialism that has seemingly come to define the Christmas season, and their two representative figures as embodied by Jesus and Santa respectively, as if the two were engaged in some sort of fight-to-the-death WWE cage match (my money’s on the fat man), but I instead see the common bond of human kindness that binds the two together. Both offer us a lesson regarding our own basic humanity- a lesson that those who do label themselves as Christians adherents could stand to engender in their own daily lives.
Yes, it is those very people, the holier than thou type, you know the ones- the people who give you a scrupulous and condemning glare when you meet their “Merry Christmas” with a plaintive yet inclusive “Happy Holidays”, the ones who scoff at the homeless person begging for change just outside the steps of their megachurch- it is those people that could most stand to heed the teachings of Jesus himself rather than using his words selectively in order to sanctimoniously pass judgement on others and defend positions they simply don’t support. To be honest, I love what Jesus had to say; it’s his followers that seem to have little actual knowledge or embodiment of his message of love and inclusion that drive me absolutely crazy. And despite a dripping hypocrisy that most of them don’t even recognize, I’m pretty sure that Jesus would be pissed as Hell at them as well. So with that in mind, I would like this week to present you with Jesus’s wishlist from Christians during this holiday season. It is, after all, his birthday.
My fellow Brothers and Sisters,
You ask me what I would like for this Christmas season. How about you start by listening to the stuff I taught while I was there? Do you remember that little bit about “Love Thy Neighbor”? Yeah, I meant shit. It wasn’t just a suggestion. In fact, it was so important I had four different apostles write this all down for you. And still you manage to somehow miss the entire point of what I was trying to say. What the Hell is wrong with you people?
Wanna get me something for my birthday? How about you start by putting some cash into the tin of the Salvation Army bell ringer you always hustle past or throwing a twenty to that homeless guy at the corner right near your work where for some reason you always magically feel the need to suddenly roll up your window? Don’t think I see that? Well, I’m more ninja than Santa, bitch. He may see you when you’re sleeping, but I know all about the nude pics you sent to your ex right before you split. In case you forget, my point on this was clear, “‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” So get off your socioeconomic high horse and acknowledge that there but for the grace of God could go you.
And while I’m at it, how about honoring my birth by doing what I continuously asked and loving ALL of thy brothers and sisters, not just the ones you agree with? Do you remember this refrain from John, “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” Well, just like your real brother who drives you nuts each Christmas reliving his old high school football stories, you don’t have to like all your fellow human beings, but you do have to love them. And yes, that means people who weren’t born in the United States. The last time I checked they classify as people too. As do people of different religions. Ok, I get it- they don’t pray to my Dad, but that’s between them and Him. You just go on loving them and practicing the type of compassion, tolerance, and understanding that I preached about while I was there. Heaven knows, you may just learn a thing or two. Oh and while you’re at it, lay off the gays, will you? I know the Old Testament has a few questionable words on the subject, but I was pretty clear about judgment, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” And since I am pretty darn sure that none of you are without sins of your own, leave the LGBTQ community alone and realize that love is love, no matter what.
And you know what else I would like for Christmas? How about y’all stop invoking my name in the justification for wars and killing? You remember I was a pacifist, right? Please stop that crap. If I hear one more dumbass say my name while holding a gun in his hand, I am going to come down there and choke the everlasting snot out of them. And yes, I am more than aware of the irony involved there. I’m Jesus, for chrissakes. I taught you to love each other even when confronted with hate, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
Finally, would you mind taking care of the damn planet my Father gave unto you? That doesn’t mean drilling it for whatever the Hell you want and then treating it as your own personal dump heap. Didn’t your parents ever teach you to leave somewhere better than you found it? You know that lesson applies to the Earth too?
I guess in the end what I’m asking is that you stop driving around in cars with your “What Would Jesus Do?” bumperstickers, and actually start doing it. After all, religious devotion isn’t about who drops the most money in the collection plate, goes to church most often, or condemns the most sinners. It’s about embodying and spreading my message of love and acceptance. So say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or whatever the heck you want, but whatever you choose to say this holiday season, mean it. Because THAT is what Jesus would do.
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Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Lessevery THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com