On this Christmas Day, about family, full of the vision of angels and infants, stars and Maggi, and the glitter of decorated trees—on this day Americans have much to consider. The vacated halls of our national spaces—numbingly quiet after the vitriol of previous months of head-banging—lie quiet and waiting for the dawn of a new year.
It was into such spaces that Jesus was born – the infant who would become the man who overturned the tables of commerce that invaded the temples. His rage, born of righteous indignation, was hardly a bleep on the screen of the powerful. Had it occurred today the story would only make the local, petty-crime reports. “Deranged Dude Goes Beserk”…the rush of money-changing undisturbed, the level of social penetration intensified and engrained in our mental frame of reference: How much is it worth?—the National Credo.
As Jesus later reflected, new wine requires a new skin to contain it – allow for its full character to evolve, to come into its robust, unique flavor. I’ve always enjoyed the few stories about Jesus that have survived through the ages. As a child, I really “got” his message. I think he would have loved and been a part of the local food movement, biking and alternative energy sector. He would have worn American-made jeans, drunk fair-trade coffee with his friends.
Jesus would cut to the chase in America. Per person, Americans consume more energy and goods than any other people on Earth, contributing most of the CO2 that is causing climate destabilization. Since the poorest people are and will continue to suffer the impacts (drought, floods, disease, and starvation) Jesus would be “in our faces” about our reckless behavior.
But he would have had the same challenge as the nascent sustainability movement: how do you get the word out to 9 billion people in time to divert a global disaster?
I am sure that Jesus would not have been politically correct nor would he engage in “people-pleasing.”
No, he would march right into the House and Senate, upturn a few tables and shout to the Heavens, “What on Earth do your think you are doing?” He would clear the air and the truth would ring across the Capitol. For a brief moment, things would go in the right direction by just creating a pause in the fury. Boy, do we need him now!
I wonder who will turn the tables in 2012?