Jesus asks for a lot – the whole you. No missing parts. No walling off sections of your life. All of it. And he calls on his followers to pick up their crosses too – the thing that will kill them – and to carry those things. He calls on us to be transformed. That’s costly. There’s no hidden fees with Jesus. No fine print. No unexpected terms and conditions. It’s all out there – right up front. The lamb is interested in fooling anyone.
It is so much more preferable to put our hope and faith in the donkey and the elephant, rather than the lamb – or so it would seem at first glance.
The donkey and the elephant make it seem like they aren’t asking much of you and for the little they are asking for, they offer a utopia in exchange. The little they ask for – your vote. There is no demand for change in your life or your beliefs – no transformation at all in fact.
But with your vote comes with so much more unspoken things – much like the fine print on a mortgage. Because it’s never just your vote.
It’s also your money – they need it, don’t you know, to help proclaim their saving message. And not just once, but many times because campaigns are expensive and multi-year endeavors.
And not just your money, but your lawn and your vehicle too – you have to have signs and bumper stickers out don’t you know, because you are called on to help proclaim the saving message of the saviors that are presented by the donkey and the elephant.
And not just your lawn and vehicle, but your social media feed as well. The donkey and the elephant need your voice in proclaiming their false gospel narrative.
And not just your social media, but all of your attention – there is no time for other endeavors since this is the most important thing that will ever occur in your life, except for the next election, which will then be the most important thing in your life. Relationships to the donkey and the elephant are more important than relationships with loved ones, family, friends, coworkers, and co-congregants.
And on and on it goes – sucking you in, imprisoning you, holding you in a death grip bondage. And before we know it, whether we read the fine print or not, our lives are changed and transformed by the donkey and the elephant – just not in life giving ways. If they had been upfront and honest about the transformation they sought, no one would sign up. We wouldn’t give them an inch.
If only we cared about Jesus and his saving message even 1% as much as we do about the idolatry of the donkey and the elephant. If only we paid 1% attention to Jesus as we do with the donkey and the elephant. If only we gave 1% of our money as we do with the donkey and elephant. If only we gave 1% of the emotion, 1% of the devotion, 1% of the signage, 1% of all of it. Then the world would be transformed in incredible ways.
But sure, go on believing that the donkey and the elephant aren’t asking for much from you. Go on telling yourself that they care about you.
And before you respond by saying something like this – “are you saying we shouldn’t vote or pay attention?!?” – the answer is no, I’m not saying that. Certainly pay attention. In fact, I’m hoping you do pay attention to how you are being transformed. And yes, vote. It’s your duty as a citizen. Just don’t make the donkey and your elephant into your identity, the things you look to for hope and salvation. They aren’t. The lamb is.