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genthumb.jpegI have a cousin who dances for days without food or water in a Native American ceremony that is suppose to take on all the pain in the world. “I think Jesus was doing something similar when he suffered on the cross,” she says. I have a brother-in-law who is perfecting techniques of moving things with his mind. “I think this is what Jesus was doing when he healed the sick.” So it’s no surprise to me when I hear this week that a guy in Arizona sees Jesus in his dental x-ray. People seem to see Jesus everywhere. And this Jesus they see is always an unwilling participant in their pet philosophy or trendy new movement. To Hugo Chavez, Jesus is the original socialist. To human rights advocates, he’s the original bleeding heart. Republicans see Jesus as a benevolent supply-sider. Democrats fashion him in their own likeness–a progressive with a thing for the down-trodden. But none of these people seem to want to see Jesus as he is depicted in the Apostles’ Creed. “God’s only Son, our Lord.” Those words just don’t seem to afford us the personal luxury of a portable Jesus. Those few words make Jesus into something which refuses to be wedged into our personal causes. And worst of all, those pesky words attempt to wedge us underneath his absolute authority. “Lord, indeed!” our pride bristles. “I don’t think so.” Which is why we all love this time of the year. The time when Jesus can be neatly tucked into our miniature mangers. A Jesus we can take out and hold in front of our vanity and say: “So cute, so small…so very much like me.” A Jesus that demands nothing. Our kind of Jesus.

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