It seems like only yesterday that Americans voted to continue the inspiring legacy of the Bush family, only to realize later what a really bad idea that was. Oh well. No harm done. But three years from the next presidential election, potential candidates are already testing the waters, stocking their war chests, and hiring highly paid consultants for their potential bids. Ive often wondered why Jesus didnt use a consultant to boost the effectiveness of his own ministry. So just for fun, lets say he did. Following is a conversation between Jesus and his new media professional, just after Jesus healed the leper.
Consultant: Sir, could I have a word with you? No, no hug, if you dont mind. I know you healed the guy, but lets not take chances with contagious diseases. Anyway, nice work, but why did you tell him to keep quiet about it?
Jesus: I dont want more crowds.
Consultant: Well, HELLO! Isnt that exactly what we want? Were trying to preach the good news here, not hide it under a bushel. No?
Jesus: Thats good. Can I use that?
Consultant: Of course. So, what do you have against crowds?
Jesus: Everywhere I go throngs of people show up, with the pushing and the shoving and the pushing. Oy. Yesterday it was what, 5,000 or so? Plus, I had to feed them all.
Consultant: And we appreciate you coming through on that one, sir. The caterer got confused and showed up at the wrong throng.
Jesus: It happens. So, did we reimburse that kid?
Consultant: Ill take care of it. Could we stay on topic, please? As I was saying, get used to the crowds. The new PR firm is really capitalizing on the miracles and your excellent speaking skills. Oh, and they just came up with this great idea for your entry into Jerusalem: A big white horse with a fancy saddle. Plus, well pass out those noisemaker thingies that curl open when you blow on them.
Jesus: How about I just ride in on a donkey?
Consultant: Tshyeah! Like Id let THAT happen! Besides, we tested the donkey idea on a focus group and it fell flat, very flat. So weve nixed the idea.
Jesus: Whats "nixed"?
Consultant: Never mind. By the way, I wanted to apologize for yesterday. It wont happen again.
Jesus: I hope not. I was just visiting some folks when suddenly this guy comes down through the ceiling...the CEILING, for My sakes!
Consultant: A glitch. A mix-up. I promise it wont happen again. We talked with security and from now on the advance team will check all the ceilings.
Jesus: And manhole covers.
Consultant: Whats a manhole cover? Never mind. But again, Boss, we got great press on that ceiling thing. They loved how you healed the guy, a complete stranger, even though he landed on your toe. By the way, hows the toe?
Jesus: Its better. I heal quickly.
Consultant: The point is, I think you should start using your power in more memorable ways. No offense, sir, but turning water into wine looked like a cheap parlor trick.
Jesus: It was the right thing to do.
Consultant: Frankly, I think the brides parents were just trying to cut costs. Whatever. Okay, new business: I understand that youve been instructing the disciples to shake the dust from their feet if people dont listen to our message. Tell me you didnt say that.
Jesus: I said that.
Consultant: Wrong! Dont you think thats a little harsh? How about they leave their business card and do call-backs in a week?
Jesus: Ill think about it.
Consultant: Beautiful. Next item: Larry just came in with the new slogan and youre gonna love it: "Stick With the Big Guy." Does that rock, or what!?
Jesus: I thought we settled on "Follow me"?
Consultant: BOR-RING! Its weak, and its got no shelf life. Youre gonna be around for a long time so its gotta have staying power.
Jesus: Actually, I might not be here as long as you think.
Consultant: But youre just getting started!
Jesus: I know, but Ive got this feeling.
Consultant: Bad toe again?
Ed Spivey Jr. is art director of Sojourners, and he promises to stop making things up about Jesus.