There are those moments in the gospels where people come to Jesus with an intention to trap, damage or even destroy. Two stories that stand out are the testing about paying taxes to Caesar and the rather elegant question about the woman who married seven brothers in succession: in the resurrection, whose wife will she be?
Over the last few days, I have visited with a bishop colleague who has felt deeply hurt by those whom he served, received word from the Presiding Bishop’s office of a death threat to another bishop colleague being investigated by the FBI, and just this morning received an anonymous letter pillorying me for my perceived failures.
I place these experiences next to the gospel story of the Epiphany, the story of the Magi. I wonder how can any of us who claim to follow Jesus be so harsh on another imperfect follower of Jesus Is not our calling to be like the Magi, to be bearers of gifts?
If Jesus had email, my hunch is that the messages in his inbox would have made the messages in my inbox seem bland. But what of his sent items? How would he respond? Well, he did say turn the other cheek. He was silent before so many, including Pilate. He said love your neighbor as yourself.
So, perhaps here is the question, before we hit send: WWJS—what would Jesus send?