10 December, 2008

Lo-Jack for Jesus

Lest I be accused of casting aspersions* (That sounds like a good band name - "Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for Casting Aspersions!"), I confess that it would probably bug me if my church had a nice nativity display and someone made off with the Sweet Baby Jesus. I mean, Baby Jesuses (Jesii?) can be spendy.

And maybe I would be bugged enough to load the Baby Jesus with a GPS device so that I could hunt those horrible people once Jesus was lifted from the manger. I wouldn't be the first to do so. (I am especially proud to note that this article is written by a newspaper in my home state. I love Texas, but Molly Ivins was right - it's a weird place.)

What I want to know is, what do these churches do once they capture the Jesus Thieves? (Another good band name!) Do the prosecute? Once you get Sweet Baby Jesus back in his proper place in the nativity, is there a point to pressing charges? To ask the semi-obvious, WWSBJD? Grace is nice in theory... But once someone gets their knickers in a twist and decides that folks are out to remove Christ from Christmas, well, it sometimes becomes an excuse for being righteous jerk-heads.

And here's the other thing: Might one, were one so inclined, view this as a metaphor of life in the Church? Can't we sometimes be big fans of chaining Jesus down so that he won't go roaming so far afield, hobnobbing with the riff-raff? Don't we like to keep Jesus for ourselves? And don't we especially like Jesus when he's all sweet and innocent and surrounded by sweetly lowing cattle? He certainly doesn't cause quite so much trouble then. And God knows we like church a whole lot better when Jesus doesn't bug us.

much peace, much love, etc.

*Aspersion has two interesting definitions. Probably something to be learned here.

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