When I was in Morrisson’s earlier today I bumped into Fat Pat.
Now most years I watch Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth at Christmas. Pat finally watched it this week.
“I didn’t like it” she said “the ending was depressing”.
At this time of year we all stop work for ten days or so to celebrate the birth of Christ. I doubt if he was really born 25th December, the early Christian church adopted old pagan feast days as a way of converting people. It’s why Easter moves about so much.
But I did get to thinking, if you really believe in Jesus, do you really need the ending of his story to make a difference? He died for our sins, they say, but how necessary was that? If you strip away the mumbo jumbo, the miracles, the resurrection & the more outlandish aspects of the nativity, you are left with a profound series of thoughts & statements that are a pretty good guide on how to treat your fellow man.
I don’t particularly profess to being a Christian these days. I don’t beleive that you need to sit in a church, or come to that, synagogue, mosque, temple or shrine to be a good person. If there is a heaven,& I really do hope that there is, for all the trials & tribulations of life must surely mean more, then there will be christians who find themselves very surprised by the company they are in.
What is important is how the man lived, not how he was born or how he died. So many people are born into good circumstances & treat their fellow man like shit all through their lives. So many are born into poverty but make a real difference to those around them. The circumstances of birth mean nothing ultimately. What comes between the time you are born & the time you leave this plane of existence is.
I don’t know if I am a good man. I’d like to hope that I am. I’d like to hope that in the main I treated my fellow man decently, even if at times I was treated pretty shabbily by some of them. I’m not always as forgiving or as tolerant of others as I should be.
But I try.
If you read words of wisdom, in any form you can find a lot of sense in what Jesus said on how to live your life. Just as you can if you bother to read the thoughts of Buddha or Confucius or Lao Tse or Marcus Aurelius. There is a lot of sense in the basic message of Mohammed for those who read it properly.
The trouble is that dogma & doctrine have got in the way over the millennia & obscured this.
So at this time of year I’d prefer to remember the great sense that Jesus spoke, & leave the religion to others.