The BUZZ Around The Coffee Maker... IT'S A SIMPLE PLAN
Often in the traditional workplace the coffee maker is the common place for socializing with coworkers. While pouring a cup of caffienated fuel there is talk about the big football game on Sunday, sharing vacation plans, some are brave enough to discuss politics and/or religion and have lived to tell the tale (not recommended), and of course the ever popular grumbling about the boss (the emperor who has no clothes) in hushed tones.
So imagine the buzz around the coffee maker in Heaven a little over 2000 years ago when God's plan for ‘saving’ mankind was revealed?
Setting: It was just another day at the 'office' when Larry and Betty meet at 'Heaven's Coffee Maker' for their morning cup of coffee.
Larry the Angel: "Hey Betty, did you hear the latest about the plan the boss has for saving the world?"
Betty The Angel: "No, so what's up?"
Larry the Angel: "Well rumor has it, Jesus Christ will come to earth as a child born of a virgin in a barn and sleep in a feeding trough for animals. His birth will not be proclaimed to the world, but to .. get this.. shepherds." And a few guys from the east
Betty The Angel: "Shepherds? .. right."
Larry the Angel: "No really it's true. , and Jesus will be raised by a common carpenter and his wife" and for the next almost 30 years Jesus will work as a carpenter, in rural Israel.
Betty The Angel: " Good one Larry, and so being a carpenter.. he will then build his father's kingdom." LOL
Larry the Angel: "I know this sounds bizarre, but I heard it all from a very reliable source. And that's not all. Next, Jesus will choose 12 men to assist him as key members of his kingdom
Betty The Angel: "You mean like a presidential cabinet of sorts? Made up I imagine of priests, rabbis, maybe a few influential politicians, and some sort of minister of defense would seem
Larry the Angel: "No, .. they are mostly fishermen."
Betty The Angel: "I see.. fishermen... So far we have Jesus born in a barn in obscurity except to shepherds, his critical years of development to be the King and Savior are spent as a carpenter instead of seminary? Yes, yes.. this makes 'boat loads' of sense.... NOT!"
Larry the Angel: "I know, I know.. but that's not all. Next Jesus will take on the established religious community. He will challenge, and mock their rules and their motives.. which of course flies like a politically incorrect Lead Balloon."
Betty The Angel: "Well if this is true, then what else could they expect. Now who is it you said you heard this all from? You were not talking to Cliffy from the mail room again were you? I know this is Heaven, but Cliff is full of it."
Larry the Angel: "No Betty it wasn't Cliff, it was from a very reliable source. Now be quiet for a minute and let me finish.. then you can let your jaw drop to the floor... because there is more."
Betty The Angel: [ Betty motions that she is zipping her lip and smiles.. in silence ]
Larry the Angel: "All of this leads to a final week when the salvation message is realized. Jesus in this unconventional plan lulls the leaders of the day into .. falsely arresting him, mocking him, he is beaten and whipped to the point of death. Then to a jeering crowd he is lead up to a hill where he is crucified as a common criminal while being rejected by the people he came to save... JUST THE WAY HE PLANNED IT ALL ALONG."
Larry the Angel: Of course Jesus will not stay dead. He will rise from the dead, but not everyone will witness this.. and so believing in Jesus, and accepting his free gift of salvation will be a matter of choice and it will require a personal faith in things not seen.
Betty The Angel: [still silent, Betty stands with her arms crossed]
Larry the Angel: "That's it Betty, believe me or not.. that is the God's honest truth (no pun intended)." <pause> "Ok, now you can speak."
Betty The Angel: I don't know who put you up to this.. but I would tell these wild tales to anyone else... This is all CRAZY TALK.. and I have better things to do with my time. Next time you learn anymore 'Revelations' .. get it in writing on God's very own BLESSED executive stationary!! Next time.. you should consider your sources before swallowing it all hook line and sinker. You are just soooo gullable."
Betty walks away shaking her head. Larry refills his coffee cup and heads back to work perplexed why Betty did not believe him.
Ok maybe it was not quite like this, and I don't think this would have been a script in Hollywood. Kings, and great rulers would be scripted to be more spectacular than a poor carpenter boy who ticks off the establishment and is ultimately crucified as a criminal. Then again.. Hollywood's vision of drama, 'passion' or anything with a salvation message of sorts is typically a bit.. WACKED.
Have a great day.. and may the great news of God's plan for our salvation and for a happy life here on Earth be realized in each of your lives.
My wife Mary and I have several nativity sets that we put on display each Christmas season. And in the month of December 2004 was a Christmas season like most all the others, EXCEPT.. our dog Baylie who was about a year and a half old at the time still liked to chew on things that were not her designated chew toys.
One of those items is my kneaded eraser which I use when I am drawing my cartoons, and it looks like a lump of clay. Well Baylie would sneak it off my desk, and chew it up but never swallow it. Leaving a mangled pile of eraser fragments on the family room floor. I push the crumbs back together, and continue to use it. I know, I know.. Ewwwww!! But she cleans the pencil lead out of it and dog drool seems to be an active agent in making the eraser .. erase. BUT I DIGRESS..
Back to the Larson Nativity sets. One afternoon in December 2014 my wife and I came home to what looked like a Nativity Mob Kill scene. The wooden cart from the stable was in pieces, a shepherd laying face down on the coffee table, and a baby sheep took a fall off the table and onto the living room carpet. I can’t imagine the horror in eyes of the 3 wisemen who traveled so far only to see Baylie walk off with Baby Jesus in the clutches of her jaw.
The question remained why? Maybe Baylie wanted Jesus in her heart, and thought swallowing him would be closeto her heart. Stomach? Heart?.. good enough. BUT THEN she maybe did not like the texture of the ceramic Jesus figurine.
OR MAYBE an audible voice from the Heavens yelled “Baylie.. This is my beloved son.. DONT EAT HIM!” Only Baylie and the figurines from the nativity set know for sure.
Good News: Only a short time later the 'baby Jesus hostage crisis was over. The son God in ceramic form was returned to ceramic parents Mary & Joseph who were besides themselves with worry. And good news for Baylie was God did not strike her with lightning which was within his right. But just a couple weeks later Baylie was shocked when she chewed the lights on our Christmas tree.
Moral of the story. If you really love Jesus don’t risk God revoking your ticket to Heaven just because your nativity sets are low enough for Baby Jesus to be mauled by the family dog. AND.. just like Baylie could not get Jesus in her heart by eating a figurine, neither can any of us have Jesus in our hearts just by going to church.
May this Christmas be a peaceful season of adoration and personal faith where Jesus is in our hearts and not just in our nativity sets.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson