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Last night I dreamt that Jesus changed his plans in order to give us another chance, with another “coming” before the final one. The denomination he chose to identify with was a bit obscured in the dream, but it was definitely hierarchical in form with clearly defined ecclesiastical levels of authority, identified by rank and position.

He started at the bottom, following protocol, purposefully working within the system, conforming where necessary and inching his way up through the layered chain of command. He obtained every coveted title along the way until at long last, in his waning days (3 years before retirement, no extensions), the crowning moment came: “Head Honcho,” be it Pope, General, Archbishop, General Superintendent, Whatever?

Upon reaching that long sought after, hard fought for position, He used that authority to begin leveling the playing field, thereby flattening the hierarchy, thus bringing a semblance of equality and oneness to the Body. His work completed, and while ascending the second time, he said, “You won’t know the time of my next coming, that’s the Father’s business. Be my witnesses in Honolulu, all over America, even to the ends of the world.” In that Spirit the Church began to multiply and prosper, comparable to the period following his first ascension.

Those who followed, several Head Honchos later, began to carefully restructure the hierarchy as it had once been. With increasing levels, titles and protocol there came, comparably, an ever-decreasing number in followers.

At this point I woke up drenched in sweat, not a dream, a veritable nightmare! In the waking moments of reality, the thought came to me, Were he here, would Jesus even entertain taking on a title: General Jesus or Pope Jesus or Archbishop Jesus?

Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it?

Remember the time when James and John, jockeying for position, approached Jesus asking, “Arrange it so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left?”

Jesus’ response in effect was, “Better think this through, boys. You have no idea what you’re asking.” When the other disciples heard this they lost their temper and became indignant, maybe even a teensy bit jealous.

Then we hear Jesus’ great discourse about “rulers who lord it over them and high officials who exercise authority over them,” saying, “It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to first among you must be your slave” (Mark 35-45).

Easy for you to say, Commissioner! I hear you thinking. Hey, I was just as surprised as the rest of you were, perhaps even more so. And besides didn’t Jesus also say something about the first being last? Now that’s...


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