We’re back in a new chat with Jesus. Welcome back everyone, and Jesus – how have you been?
J: Not good, not good at all. I’m a bit distressed with this organized religion thing.
I: What do you mean? I thought that was an invention of yours.
J: *looks askance at interviewer*
I: *defensively* What?
J: Look, I was the original anti-established organized religion guy. Geez, I came here to tear down the temple, remember? My goal was to tear it all down and – well not so much tear it down as re-purpose it – wait.. let me think for a bit.
Okay, here’s a good analogy. Let’s try this on for size.
Let’s talk about warm chocolate chip cookies, shall we?
I: Oookay… I’m listening
J: Good, let’s think of the institution of the Church as a big warm chocolate chip cookie. Let’s think of them all, all the churches like that – all big warm chocolate chip cookies. The Catholic church, the biggest Christian denomination founded in my name has this huge honking warm gooey chocolate chip cookie and it’s going stale. They’ve stirred and baked this enormous cookie and what do they do with it?
I: I’m kinda lost with the whole cookie thing.
J: Sigh, cookies? Cookies are love, dude. Cookies are love. You’re killing me.
So you’ve got this huge cookie. What are you going to do with it? I’ll tell you what I did with it. I starting breaking off pieces and handing them out to people.
Breaking – it – apart. You got that?
Every time I went to temple, I’d shove some pieces of it in my pockets to take to the sick, outcast, and the forgotten. The tough thing about it was, I couldn’t sneak much out, but to some of the people living on the outermost fringes of society, a crumb of the stuff was pure gold. It made me feel really good to be able to brighten their days and bring them some morsels from time to time.
I: Did they really have cookies back your day?
J: Again, love, dude – love. Cookies are metaphors for love. The church is supposed to be a manifestation of love, therefore it’s like a cookie, best eaten with a glass of warm milk.
So I’m all, ‘Tear down this temple and I will rebuild it in three days’, but that’s not what I said. I said to tear it down and feed it to my hungry brothers and sisters, then we would return and rebuild it in three days. It’s another metaphor. Love and cookies work best when shared freely. Cookies, when kept to yourself, just get moldy and nasty. It gets stale and old and rotten, then you spend all your time trying to keep it from getting nastier, preserving it, putting it in the freezer, protecting it from harm. If you’d just eaten it when it was warm you would have always had fresh cookies. You see it’s not ABOUT the cookie, it’s about sharing the cookie, using the cookie.
The problem was that when I spoke about these things, you all whipped out your little notebooks and wrote down: "Must make cookies. Cookies are sacred. Cookies are the key to everlasting salvation." And you all went off and made little cookie shrines in my name (like I hadn’t seen that before, sheez). Look, it’s for e-a-t-i-n-g. *mimes putting a cookie in mouth, chewing*
But when my hungry brothers and sisters came to taste the cookie, you brushed them off saying, "No, no, no, you mustn’t touch the sacred cookie. That’s one of the blessed mysteries of the church and you went back to the fabrication of more cookies on display under glass."
You can see how it’s a little frustrating. I was the original destroyer of organized religion. I’m not for it. I wasn’t for it. I was a disruptive force, a sacrilege, a heretic, and a subversive influence.
I like to think I was the mad subversive cookie baker.
And I’d hoped you’d all get giddy with cookie baking and serving and just go crazy dishing them out to the corners of the world. Some of you did, God bless you, you got it, but there’s a whole bunch of you who didn’t. I hoped that you’d search out the most lost, the most hungry, the most unloved and offer them a piece of your cookie, and say, "You look hungry, here’s a plate of warm cookies and milk. Best eaten now. We can always make more. Don’t waste your time preserving them."
Get to it man, get to it!