Jesus was a Palestinian. To be more specific, a Palestinian Jew.
If Jesus were to come back to our earthly domain, do you think the first thing he really wants to see are a bunch of crosses?
Or, even worse, assuming he recognizes himself in the mostly Anglo depictions, little sculptures of himself in effigy, dying in agony as a man, nailed and tied to a cross?
There are so many symbols that could represent the religious devotion to his ministry and message (loaves and fishes, brotherly acceptance and love of others, the "star of Bethlehem," pairs of worn-out sandals, "I work for a carpenter" signs, etc.), this choice seems particularly selfish and inapt. Selfish because it is symbolic of his dying for the displayer's sins, rather than of his message to his followers of his ideals and lifestyle, his teaching. Selfish because that makes the display all about the displayer's redemption through the agony of a long-dead prophet. Inapt because it is hardly welcoming, and surely these people would like to welcome their saviour joyously were he ever to walk in their midst again.
Maybe the reason he hasn't shown up yet (if you believe the hype, I mean, the prophecies) is that every time he takes a peek, he goes back to his dad and says "They're not ready yet, they still have those awful crosses up all over the place waiting for me again. No way I'm going back there!"
printed 30 January 2023
© Huw Powell