“This is the Way; follow me if you dare.” This path, this Way that Jesus promoted was apparently too simple and too inclusive for those whose job it was to maintain the status quo, because he was executed for simply trying to shake up the order of things—for being a rebel of change and enlightenment.
Two thousand years later, the religion that has grown from his sacrifice has itself become very complicated and full of symbols, rituals, and mysterious words, and sadly, it is not very inclusive. Jesus’s message and his life have been layered with doctrine, none of which practically validates his existence as a rebel. Many that profess their belief in Christianity have grown more opinionated, insulated, judgmental, and at times, not very compassionate toward those who reside outside the realm of the cross. The term neighbor seems to be accepted as literal truth, an idea that those we should treat with compassion and love should already be with us and for us.
Based on my research, it would be easy for me to believe that the pre-Easter Jesus, the rebel for change, would be very frustrated with the religion that now carries his name and his image. Like all things humans touch or try to fix or explain, we always find ourselves straying too far to the right or left—too far to the north or south. Jesus showed us the center, the epicenter if you will, of how we should live our lives and treat other beings. It’s not hard to understand, but it is hard to follow, primarily because we continue to complicate the message. The truth will always be divine, but our interpretation of the truth will always be human.
My journey continues.