So, in the beginning, there was nothing and nobody. Just God. And he was lonely. So he made the universe, and the universe begat all sorts of critters. Some of those critters got more and more complex, like you and me. And so God was less lonely. But most of us are just acquaintances of the Almighty; what he’d really like is to get to know you better and be good friends. Maybe an introduction is what he needs. So here comes Jesus, who is a really good friend of God—they’re practically the same guy, for all anyone can tell—telling everyone the good news about the universal Creator and how he wants to be friends. In fact, everybody is God’s friend, and you have to be nice to your friend’s friends, or your friend gets caught in the middle and suffers, too. Folks wanted to be God’s friend, but telling them to be nice to whores and lepers and tax collectors was too much. So some really uncool people nailed his ass to the cross.
Of course, being good buddies with God, Jesus had the cheat codes to the game, and was resurrected on the third day. Which is a pretty good trick, you have to admit! Jesus did a lot of stuff like that: turning water into wine, curing lepers, raising people from the dead. People were impressed, but they were always looking ahead to the next trick. You’d think raising yourself from the dead would convince everybody, but some people can never be pleased. People kinda suck. But God loves ’em, so we gotta love ’em, too. Warts and all.
First step in loving people is “loving them as [God] has loved you.” Everybody hurts. Life is kinda scary. We’re all thrown into this together. So you’re imperfect, and I’m imperfect, and we’re all imperfect together. Only God is perfect. So stop being so hard on yourself, and me. Maybe if all of us weren’t so preoccupied by stepping on sacks and not having our sacks stepped on, we’d have more time to hang out with God. You can hang out with God anywhere, but distractions are kinda, well, distracting. Free your neighbor to hang with God, and you’re participating in the reason for the universe existing. How trippy is that? You, participating in Creation!
Let go of stuff. Relax. For being followers of such a mellow dude, Christians are really uptight people. We kill each other over little doctrinal points most of us don’t understand very well, anyway. For people of faith, we don’t much trust in God. Somebody said faith was radical trust. We don’t even seem to have ordinary, unradical trust. If we don’t defend orthodoxy, the universe will go to hell in a flower pot. As if God would let it go that far! Have a little faith, folks! Just believe, and leave the theological hair-splitting to the dead white guys named St. So-and-So. God will figure out the rest. He’s better equipped for the task than you are, anyway. Have some faith.
Letting go of ideas is hard, but letting go of material stuff is harder. Big house. Job titles, or post-nominals, or whatever. Refinement. Fine threads. Fancy cars. Distractions. A lot of you guys claim to be Christians, but you don’t want to be taxed. You like your money. Nevermind that Jesus said it was easier for a camel to fit in the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, or that the early church held property in common, or that the Apostle says the love of money is the root of all evil. Judas betrayed his God for a bit of cash. Your God tells you to stop being a slave to money; are you going to keep on being Judases? Poor or rich, a stinking corpse is a stinking corpse. You can’t take it with you.
Stop thinking your respectable lifestyle wins you point in heaven. The Jesus said, “You’re like whited sepulchres: fair without, but full of bones and corruption within.” We’re all sinners, way better at being animals than decent human beings. Even the noblest, most respectable member of any community is guilty of something, be it pride, or greed, or sloth. Chimps in suits, and the monkey won’t go unfed. You can find any number of people who are bigger jerks than you, or don’t live the right lifestyle, or have the wrong kinds of friends. But you being pleased with your own righteousness doesn’t do much to justify God’s effort in Creation. The good news, luckily, is that God loves you anyway, despite your pompous righteousness. Bad news is that he loves the unrighteous, too.
So be thou not a dick! Be thou mellow, instead, and verily chillax. Bless the creeping snails, love the Walmart clerks and the gas station attendants, have pity for the suits who can’t think beyond their stock options and mega-mortgages, and pray for their conversion. They’re friends of God, too. And friends of friends aren’t bad friends to have. Love and bless and just be; trust your good Buddy, which art in heaven, to take care of the rest. Amen.