Easter Archives - St. Croix Church

Jesus, the Lousy Politician: An Easter Story

By Articles

Once upon the time, there was a young man named Jesus who cared deeply about people and wanted to improve the way they lived their real lives in his community. So people told him, you should run for an election! We’d vote for you!

But Jesus said, “I don’t think that would be a good idea. I’d rather just tell stories to people and love them and show them that there is a better way to live and be whole.”

But people insisted: “But you’d have so much more power if you were a politician! You could change things!”

Jesus sighed. “I don’t like the idea of changing things with that kind of power. I think I have as much authority as there is love in my heart, truth in my stories and integrity in my actions.”

“Oh, bless your heart,” they said, “but that won’t get us anywhere. You’d be no better than a poet.”

Some of these people were mainstream politicians, and they said, “Come, meet some of our corporate lobbyists – I mean friends – and they can support your campaign.”

But Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich. And I don’t have a campaign.” These friends didn’t find that very helpful.

concrete memorial cross

Cross misused at Spanish fascist memorial

Other people were populists, and they said, “Look at these crowds! They’re angry and want change! Tell them – and the other corporate lobbyists – what they want to hear. It doesn’t even have to be true! And we’ll be a huge voice together.”

But Jesus said, “I don’t think these crowds are really committed to the kind of love and challenge that I’m trying to encourage. Following me is hard on the ego – kind of like dying. I don’t want anything to do with an angry mob.”

Instead, Jesus kept telling stories and healing the sick, and he lived so much in solidarity with the poor that when he saw injustice, he did things like flip over the tables of exploitation. But he also kept telling people not to make such a big deal about who he was – and that everyone could do the kinds of things he was doing, if not better! He even said they shouldn’t even call him good!

But people were getting upset by it all anyway. So much so that the people in power decided he was their enemy, even if he wasn’t running for office. They threw him in jail, then mocked him and killed him – just to make sure that nothing big got started.

“Wow, what a lousy politician,” people said when they saw him dead – just hanging useless on a tree.


But then a funny thing happened. The women and men who had really been following Jesus were discouraged at first, but soon they started saying that Jesus was still with them!  And with some real enthusiasm, they were saying it was true that they could live with the kind of love and trust that Jesus had. That the Spirit of Jesus (which was the Spirit of God!) lived in everyone and made that possible. This started getting people’s attention again.

Then the people in power said, “Ah geez. You got to be kidding us. They’re just going to be a pain in the butt.” So, they started persecuting and killing the followers too. But it was like playing “Whack-a-mole”; the more they tried to eliminate them, the more they kept spreading – somehow without any campaigns or angry mobs. And without any help from corporate lobbyists. It seemed impossible!

This kept going, more or less, for a couple of centuries until an Emperor finally gave up. “Forget it,” he said, “Let’s stop killing them because it’s just a waste of money. In fact,” he said brightening, “Let’s brand our Empire with their logo! It seems like it’s trending!” It was like he didn’t even remember that the cross was a symbol of suffering and dying at the hands of Empire.

Jesus would have rolled over in his grave, if he’d still been there.

Sadly, the Emperor’s re-branding did more to wipe out the following of Jesus than all the persecution did. In a generation or two, people seemed to forget what a lousy politician Jesus had been, and they used his name to back up their own power, while conveniently forgetting that his love had been especially for the poor and hurting.

On the other hand. just like Empire kept getting mixed up in faith, the radical love of Jesus kept showing up in the stories and symbols that they were using, even when they were being used for the opposite purposes. From time to time, little communities of life and love would spring up and start spreading a healing message again.

Some people said it was getting confusing because Jesus and his symbols were so often being used by different groups for opposite purposes. But others said, it might not be that hard to tell them apart because true followers of Jesus were the ones actually trying to follow Jesus – by loving and serving others the way he did, even though he was a lousy politician.

mary magdalene painting

Love Overcomes (Easter Sunday)

By Talks

In this Easter Homily, Jess Williams reflects on how a faith that centres on resurrection requires us to face the reality of death and all its anguish. Looking at Jesus’ teaching in John 12:25-27, she suggests that to walk in Jesus’ steps is to “let go of life as it is, reckless in your love” and willing to lose it all.

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