The Write Word

A Costco Jesus

 I have a small Mary, Joseph and baby nativity 
that I use every year.   
It still displays the hissy fit scar. 

My mom’s pale blue and white one (she made in a ceramics class) still resides in my memory as the most beautiful one ever.  And I always drool over my mother-in-laws hand painted set.  

Through the years I have had 
several inexpensive sets 
(oft destroyed by my kids) 
and for the past few years we have used 
this Fisher Price kid friendly set.  
But in my heart, I’ve longed for a 
Big Girl nativity set. 

Imagine my delight when I ventured 
upon an heirloom set at Costco.  
Hand painted, with intricate details.

 It was really, truly lovely.  
But it wasn’t really truly real. 

The middle eastern Jewish family 
had been replaced by a 
pale skinned, fair eyed, 
silky haired European family.

I'm guessing that the pale skinned Jesus 
is an easier sell to pale skinned buyers.  
And at Costco, it's all about the sell.

So though it was beautiful, 
I just couldn’t buy it. 
I don’t want to buy a Jesus 
who's been altered
to look like me.

How many times do we find this has happened?
biblical have been altered,
for a better "sell".
Songs that sound beautiful, 
with notes that strike 
an emotional chord in our hearts, 
but who’s words are not at all 
like those of Jesus.  
Songs easy on the ear, 
and just as easy on our sin.

Or doctrines that come along 
that are easier on the ear 
than the sounds of bleating lambs 
slaughtered for sin, 
or of nails being hammered into flesh.  

Doctrines that do not call us 
to give up our sins, 
or take up our cross.  

How many times, in the market place of ideas,
 have we chosen and purchased 
an altered idea of Jesus, 
one who thinks, acts and reacts, 
remarkably like us?

The modern version of Jesus is often one 
who isn’t too concerned about heaven or hell.  
One who is more concerned 
with social issues 
than sin issues.  

The modern idea of Jesus 
is less controversial than the real one.  
And he looks a lot like our American culture, 
but he doesn’t look a lot like the Biblical one.

A Jesus who looks and acts like like me
won't call me to change
to be like him. 

And the “me” version of Jesus, 
won’t save me, from sin, 
nor from myself.

So, as much as I love the 
LOOK of the Costco set, 
I put it back on the shelf.  
I’ll wait for something that represents him.  
The real him.
The little brown skinned baby.
With his brown skinned mother.
And his brown skinned step-father.

And I'll pass on the modern Jesus.
The one calls me to no sacrifice.
I want the authentic savior. 
One that will save me in, 
and from, my sins.  

I don’t want a Jesus who looks like me.  
I'm not going to buy into
 a Costco Jesus.