Name Above All Names

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Almost everybody likes Jesus, even folks who hate God. Everybody wants Jesus on their side. Jesus saves. Jesus has a million friends on Facebook. Everybody loves Jesus as long as he stays in his place, doesn’t get too preachy, doesn’t try to reach anyone, doesn’t remind you of his Father. We still all would like Jesus to be king as long as he’s the kind of king who will do everything we want him to do.

Jesus is also a swear word, and somehow he acquired a middle initial: Jesus H. Christ. What’s the ‘H’ for? How should I know? Jesus means damn, means hell, means ouch. Jesus gets shortened to geez or even gee. He’s a gee whiz kid from the Land of Iz.

Jesus is the answer, but no one knows the question. Is it that question, where the answer’s 42? Or is it that question, “What am I to do?” We like Jesus ’cause he’s friendly and he heals us and he feeds us and he tells us funny stories like the one about the camel going through the needle’s eye. And he doesn’t give a damn about the pundits and the princes and the people with the power and the portly politicians who bedevil all the rest of us.

He’s a nice guy, Jesus. Sort of like you and sort of like me. He’s such a nice guy that he even lets us kill him, and he does it all to save us from the dreadful power of sin. And it’s awfully decent of him ’cause the taste of sin is sweet, and we love to feel its texture and we love it’s spicy scent. And we take a big swallow, and it goes down smooth, and it makes us warm and fuzzy—until suddenly it doesn’t. We love it to death, and it’s so hard to quit it, so it’s nice to have Jesus come and make it all better. He takes the bitter and leaves us the sweet. Oh, sweet Jesus!

What’s this we hear about every knee bowing? Every tongue confessing that Jesus is king? Oh, that comes later, so we don’t care about it. It might not even happen for all we know. So let’s eat and drink and party, for tomorrow we may die. And you don’t want to die without getting all you can. Jesus, what a life!

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