To those who believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and millions around the world do, have you considered what he would say as he preached his first homily? I have, and I’m not even a Christian. But I am someone who, though does not believe Jesus was the only son of God, does consider him a great teacher and sage. I greatly value what he said and how he lived his life. At the heart of his teaching is the Golden Rule. Do you know it? I’m sure you do. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That about covers every human to human and human to fauna and human to flora interaction with all living things. And since the planet itself is a living thing–the generally accepted Gaia Principle–the Golden Rule would apply to the entire planet as well.
So there he is, Jesus returned, resurrected, if you will, standing, perhaps, on the summit of Mt. Everest, delivering his homily for all of us to hear. A Sermon on the Highest Mount. I humbly submit, it might go something like this:
First, I want to clarify a misconception. I am not the son of God. I am a son of God, and you are all sons and daughters of God, if you would only realize this. And as sons and daughters of God, you must care for and be kind to each other. You must care for the flora and fauna of this planet Earth. You must care for the air and water and mineral resources of this planet. Since I last came among you, you have made great material progress, even traveling to the moon and back. You have transformed the natural environment into cities and highways and farms. You have conquered the skies with airplanes. But I am not impressed, Dear Ones. For in making this so-called progress, you have, in many respects, desecrated the planet, your home. You have caused the extinction of many species. You have stripped the land of many trees–trees that add precious oxygen and absorb harmful carbon dioxide, allowing you to breathe and thrive. You have befouled many water sources, causing many–people and wildlife–to want for water. And sadly, you have warred with each other, in the name of greed and hatred, in the name of me even, which wounds my heart and fills my soul with anger.
You have overpopulated Earth, producing more conflicts and divisions than when I was here last. You have continually judged others more by the color of their skin than by the content of their character. Would you want others to judge you that way? I did not instruct you to do so. You went so far as to enslave people, to breed and sell them, to work them to death, to torture them, to separate them from their families, to treat your pets better than those you enslaved. You eventually freed them, only after several hundred years, but you failed to give them the means to succeed. In fact, you persecuted them even more through punitive and restrictive laws, through lynchings, through fear of physical violence.
My heart is heavy for those people whom you abused and mistreated. Even those who were most closely related to me, the Jews. Might I remind you, I was born a Jew, lived my entire life as a Jew, and died, on the Cross, as a Jew. And yet, over the centuries since I was last here, you treated the Jews like criminals and monsters. I did not and do not sanction such treatment against people of my heritage, and I beseech you now to stop such treatment. Yes, you’ve made some progress but there is still too much ill will, too much discrimination, too much hatred, too many synagogues and gravestones desecrated, too many threatened, and too many vilified. The Jews did not murder me. I allowed myself to break the law, be tried and convicted, tortured, and crucified in my attempt to change the direction the world was going at that time. It was my decision. So stop punishing Jews for something they did not do.
Stop denigrating people of what you call colored skin, including Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Asians, Moslems, Native Americans, First Nation, Arabs–you have many labels, far too many, for people you want to scapegoat and repress to fatten your pockets with far too much wealth. Give away your excess to help those in need. Your skin is colored too. Beneath the color of one’s skin, all humans are of basically the same physical and emotional makeup. You all came from one woman in Mother Africa, yes, one dark-skinned woman whose skin was dark only to protect her from the intense sun. You multiplied and emigrated from there for a variety of reasons, and that was creative and efficacious of you to do so. You developed different languages, different customs, different religions, different laws, different forms of government, different ways of dressing, different mannerisms. But your origins were the same.
When I gaze onto the world, I see you acting as if you are different from your neighbors. I even see, in the same country, polarization and duality. I see conflict instead of cooperation. I see hatred instead of love. This brings pain to my heart to see children of God acting in such a way. This brings much pain to my heart, Dear Ones.
So, again, I say unto you words and ideas that I’ve rarely heard you repeat or teach since I was last here: Worry not for the morrow and be like the lilies of the field. Are flowers in conflict? No. They live and let live. They are a community of individuals that also cares for the commonwealth. If a storm hits, some may die, but they persist, Flower Strong, as your cities often say after a natural disaster. The same with the trees of the forest after fire. Or the fish of a river after flood. Or, with one of your bright spots of cooperation, a city after a hurricane. People do, at times, care for and help one another, and this is good. This is good.
So you children of God know what to do. You’ve shown it from time to time. But there is too much of the other side of you. And you must make more of an effort to change. And I dare say, you must…or you will perish.
And, by the way, I am not here to lead any Rapture or End Times or Apocalypse. That was nonsense, perpetrated by clergymen, in my name. I will say that I will return again from time to time and attempt to correct your wrongs as I have done today. And again, to summarize, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. God Bless. That is all.
Now, just in case, the conspiracy theorists think I’m some sort of channel for Jesus, I can assure them, I’m not. The preceding came purely out of my own head, imaging what Jesus might say if he did pay us a return visit. I think, in general, he would not be pleased with how this human race evolved since his last visit. I think his conclusion would be that we can do better, that we can be kinder, that we can be more generous, that we can be more cooperative, that we can be less vindictive and revengeful, that we can be more understanding with each other, that we can find more commonalities than differences, that we can live more peacefully with ourselves, our neighbors, the environment, and the planet as a whole.
As the Buddhists pray, May you be well, happy and safe. May you be free from suffering and at ease with pain. May you experience and manifest loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.