There's a 'new pastor' in townWhen a new pastor moves to town, this newspaper runs an article about the pastor. Would the press release announcing Jesus’ relocation to our area look something like this?
By: Kent Stillson, Pastor, Alexandria Echo Press
When a new pastor moves to town, this newspaper runs an article about the pastor. Would the press release announcing Jesus’ relocation to our area look something like this?
Jesus of Nazareth comes to the Alexandria area from a town down the road, where it is said things didn’t go well.
He was born in Bethlehem. His parents, Mary and Joseph, were weary no-reservation travelers when it came time for his birth. Jesus was born in a barn. Rumor has it Mary was pregnant before they were married.
Jesus began his public ministry when he was baptized by his eccentric, camel-skin-wearing, locust and wild honey-eating cousin, John. John was well known for his hellfire and brimstone sermons and met an early demise because of it.
Accompanying Jesus to Alexandria is a ministry team of questionable repute. None are educated or have ministry experience. Before taking up with Jesus, the 12 were nothing more than fishermen, a tax collector, a revolutionary and several whose backgrounds are untraceable.
Jesus is reputed to be an excellent preacher. Thousands flock to hear him. Often, his message irritates the listeners. In a recent sermon series, Jesus advocated selling all and giving it to the poor, loving your enemy, praying for those who persecute you and turning the other cheek when struck.
At other times, Jesus’ preaching is so filled with storytelling one can hardly make sense of it – comparing heaven to a mustard seed, a good neighbor to a Samaritan and God to a shepherd caring for his sheep.
As guest preacher in his hometown, Jesus’ message started a riot. Sources tell us the situation escalated to the point that a lynch mob formed to throw him off a cliff, but he walked away unscathed. These poignant teachings have caused Jesus to be homeless when not staying with sympathizers.
“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but I have nowhere to lay my head,” Jesus is quoted as saying.
Jesus’ friends are an odd assortment. He hangs out with prostitutes and tax collectors, eats with the unclean, touches the untouchable and lifts up the despised. His closest 12 friends are such an undisciplined mess, they will no doubt deny even knowing him if the going gets tough.
Alexandria citizens, if you are interested in finding out more about this new preacher in town, you won’t find him in a building or denominational structure. Jesus once called the temple a “den of thieves” and often uses the scribes and Pharisees as the example of what not to be. No denomination will credential him because of his radical views.
It is not expected he will be in town long. Jesus often speaks about having more important work to do.
This reporter believes he is speaking about the troubles galore in The Cities. Maybe not. Jesus has been overheard talking about a place called Golgatha. That can’t be correct, though. Golgatha is a dump.
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Kent Stillson, a pastor at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria, writes to help people connect their life and faith. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.