Friday, December 14, 2012

What Happened After Christmas?

As Christmas time fast approaches, we are reminded that the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago was seen as a big deal. A really big deal. The mythology tells of shepherds and visiting foreign dignitaries and heavenly hosts (I don't have a clue what these are) standing by as Jesus came into the world, and even if we dismiss this as fluff and fable, we still have to admit that the notion of a human being springing from the loin of a virgin represents a decidedly atypical obstetrical event. Yes, that first Christmas was a very big deal. One would think this might have prompted some interest in following the subsequent life of the young Jesus.

And every Spring time when we get close to Easter, we celebrate the crucifixion and the Resurrection of Jesus as something truly monumental. So clearly, people at the start and the end of the life of Jesus recognized his coming and going as a thing of importance. So here's my question: What the hell was Jesus doing in the 30 odd years in between?

Mozart could play the piano when he was two years old, and he wrote his first symphony when he was four. As a result of his demonstrated musical ability, an ability that was truly exceptional, his life was chronicled in great detail by a great number of contemporaries. We know almost everything about Mozart at almost every moment of his life. But Mozart wasn't divine, and never claimed to be anything but a brilliant musician and composer. Mozart never went around claiming to be God. Contrast this with Jesus, a man who was (in my opinion) the biggest narcissist of all time.

As Christmas comes upon us, we need to ask ourselves: If Jesus was so remarkable, then why didn't his contemporaries remark about him for most of his life? In fact, if not for the Apostle, Paul (who never actually met Jesus), it's quite possible that nothing would ever have been set down in writing about his life. How does the son of God go unnoticed and forgotten for 30 years in a world of mere humans?

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