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Jesus is Just All Right With Me

Here we are at Holy Week.  What a crazy Lenten Season this has been.  There is a new Pope on the block. Although I'm not Catholic, the transition seems to have implications across faiths and around the world and Pope Francis is an interesting guy, to say the least.  

Sometimes, you just gotta go for the grilled
cheese with fresh tomato and basil. 
I gave up french fries and soda for Lent.  It was a good choice because I found myself falling into bad habits with my eating and those are two things that can be vices for me.  I only cheated once.  I really really wanted a grilled cheese sandwich at this restaurant in Charlottesville and there were no "side substitutes".  Yes, I know I could have just not eaten the fries.  I cheated.  I will say 2 Rosaries and 3 Hail Marys.  Oh yeah. I'm not Catholic. In all seriousness, though, my view on Lenten sacrifice is that whatever habit I choose as my focus, whether it is giving up something bad or trying to do something good, I aim to keep that new practice in balance even after the celebration of the Resurrection.  Let's see how I do this year. Talking about it in my blog keeps me honest!

Photo taken March 24, 2013
Seriously, Mother Nature?
On top of all this, the weather has been less than cooperative.  March greeted us with wintry weather that we hadn't seen...all winter.  I mentioned a month ago how ready I was for Spring.  How do you think I feel now?

Be that as it may, here we are at Holy Week.  In previous blogs, I have expressed my thoughts about  Charlotte and how difficult it can be to find joy and celebration in times of grief.  This year, however, I feel drawn to talk about Jesus.  

When someone mentions his name, we all have our own vision of Jesus in our head.  In most iterations, he is seen as tall, white, and occasionally blue-eyed, even though his Middle-Eastern heritage seems to infer otherwise.  There is Jesus: the young preacher;  Jesus, the crucified; and Jesus, the resurrected.  On occasion, however, there is Jesus, the comical and satirical.  Here are my favorites that fall into that category.

Jesus, the Handsome:
I like to call this one "George Clooney Jesus" although Kenny Loggins is also a good doppelganger   He's just so...dreamy.  Who knew that in the first century, Jesus had such a well kept beard, fine highlights and well-coiffed hair?  The flyer forgot one very important question.  How can we worship with such similarly beautiful people?  

Jesus, my Buddy:
Buddy Jesus and George Clooney Jesus have a lot in common but Buddy Jesus is a little rougher around the edges.  George Clooney Jesus works on Wall Street.  Buddy Jesus is just an All-American guy who wants to buy you a beer.  I dare you to look at this picture and stay in a bad mood.  He's just such a happy Jesus!  If you look at this picture from a distance, it almost seems like he's giving a "thumbs up".  He's really just holding a fishing net.  

Jesus, the Televangelist:
No. We are not talking about Jim Bakker or Jerry Falwell.  I think Trey Parker & Matt Stone are on the right track in their imagining of a 20th (or 21st) century Jesus.  He wouldn't be screaming "Puh-raise God and send me money!" from a stage in front of thousands of people. He would have a simple and little-watched Public Access television show.  Few would watch. Even fewer would understand.  Tune in each week for "Jesus and Pals". 
Jesus, the Good Shepherd:

Roger has already confided in me that he would like this cake served at his funeral.  Something about this image always makes me smile.  If you are looking at this picture and your first response is, "What the...?" then you clearly have not read the scientific evidence on the veritable Internet that proves Jesus walked alongside these terrible lizards.  

The Reluctant Jesus
If Jesus was the Valedictorian of Bethlehem High, Brian was the poor schlub who kept getting tagged incorrectly in all those yearbook photos just for bearing a slight resemblance to the Holy Savior.  He wasn't Jesus, but he could have been.  Monty Python's Life of Brian is a brilliant satire on religion and biblical interpretation with an important message for us all this Easter holiday:

Always look on the bright side of life!
Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Spring!  


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