Happy Birthday, Jesus! Well, I know it’s a bit early, but I just wanted to ask what you’d like for a pressie this year? After all, 2014 is a pretty landmark age, so we really want to celebrate and get you something special. But it’s really difficult – I mean, what do you get the guy who’s got everything? Literally!
Actually, we’ve been pretty busy the last couple of thousand years, and I think you’d be pleased. First off, over the past few decades we’ve updated your message to make it more relevant. We’re much more advanced now, of course, so we’ve tried to think what it is you’d really want to say to the world today.
You’ll be glad to know that we’ve taken on board big time your message about loving everyone and not judging. In fact, we think you’d be proud of us – in a humble kind of way – because we don’t judge anyone these days… Unless, of course, they happen to be those horrible bigots who keep insisting everyone’s got to follow the Bible and won’t acknowledge that things are different these days. All that stuff about sexual immorality and heresy!
Honestly, talk about raining on the parade! They’re a nightmare. They just won’t move on, and keep banging on about marriage being only between one man and one woman for life, and how all sex outside of that is a sin. When we all know the old idea about marriage was about land and patriarchal domination and had absolutely nothing to do with love! But they’re so last millennium, it’s depressing. But you’ll be glad to know we’re working hard to silence them, because we know that you won’t stand any kind of intolerance or bigotry, Lord. We keep telling them, it’s got to be about equality and acceptance – live and let live – because people just aren’t going to listen if they feel condemned.
We’re working hard to correct some of the more fundamental creational mistakes too, Lord. I mean, we know you’re omnipotent and all that, and we’re sure it’s just because you’re so busy, but, let’s face it, there have been a few problems here and there – like people being born in the wrong gender. The misery it must have caused down the centuries, and we’re sure you never meant that, Lord, so now you’ve given us the technology, we’re helping people change. In fact, we’re going farther than that, Lord, because now we’re showing everyone that they can choose what they want to be – and we’re encouraging them to explore to help come to the right decision! Freedom’s becoming a reality, Lord.
We’re trying to eliminate all this religious bigotry between religions too. It’s been the cause of so much trouble down the centuries, and we know you couldn’t possibly have meant that you really were the only way to salvation, like it says in the Bible. I mean, ‘the way, the truth and the life’! We know you only said that because you were speaking to the political situation at the time. And if you’d known about Buddhism and Islam and everything, you’d have changed the message, right? After all, we’re all worshipping the same god… But you wouldn’t believe how hard it is getting that across to some of the nastier sectarian elements, who say we’re heretics. Even worse, Lord, they’ve got the cheek to say we’re lacking in real love by being so tolerant and accepting of everyone!
I could go on, Lord, about the great things we’ve done to alleviate poverty and world hunger, and how we’re really battling climate change – but I guess you know all about that already.
But we hope you’re really pleased with all the decorations we’ve put up in your honour this year – you wouldn’t believe some of the parties going on! And we’ve made the nativity plays children are putting on in schools far more inclusive, so that no one feels offended or left out! We’ve included spacemen, cuddly bunnies and pop stars, for instance, and we’re being very careful to acknowledge all gods. Yes, we know you’d be really pleased about that.
But you know, confidentially speaking – and I feel I can mention this to you, because, if you could spare the time, we could do with some help – even though we’re working flat out, we’re facing what feel like some major problems, Lord. For a start, though people have got all this freedom and tolerance, a lot of them don’t seem very happy. I know, it’s hard to believe! We’ve taken away all those ghastly restraints, Lord, but they just don’t seem able to cope. They keep wingeing on about their relationships breaking down and being lonely. Even worse, Lord – and again, confidentially speaking, because this is all a bit sensitive – an awful lot of them these days have mental health problems and are having to take medication. Even children, Lord! They’ve never had it so good, yet so many of them just seem to be falling apart.
I don’t really like to mention all this, not when it’s your birthday and ‘your’ time, but if you could help us out, Lord, we’d be really grateful. And while we’re on the subject of help your end, if you could do something to help sort out this Islamic jihadi problem, it wouldn’t go amiss. We keep telling them we ‘love’ everyone and aren’t going to judge them, and we know they’re just a bit misguided and haven’t had our advantages, but they keep trying to kill us, Lord, and it’s really not on!
Anyway, enough about us and our problems. If there’s something you’d really like, just let us know, and we’ll see what we can do.
With love and reverence and all that,
Your devoted follower,