It was 2004.
I was almost 15 back then and sitting huddled next to the altar at my hometown’s old church which never fit all of us. It was also very cold. It’s common for parishes to bring in priests for Easter week in order to present a new perspective to the congregation. The priest at the time was not out of touch with the popular feel spreading around.
So the priest stood there talking and I was tuning out, naturally. Until he said the following: “Jesus was a nominee.”
In case you didn’t pick up on it, 2004 was the year Star Academy was the “it” thing among everyone. “Yes, Jesus was a nominee – and what’s worse, he lost the voting to a criminal.”
The whole church’s attention was caught at that point. He then proceeded to conclude: “We, as Christians, brag about being as such to everyone that passes by. But are we truly voting for Jesus in our life? The answer is simply no. It’s always easier not to vote for Him.”
8 years later, I still remember that sermon as if it were yesterday. And I’m afraid to say that no, I don’t vote for Jesus all the time. It’s simply way too difficult to turn the right cheek as if nothing happened. It’s so difficult to be good to people and not expect them to be good in return – let alone them betraying you.
Life is a work in progress, I guess. My faith may not be the one the Church asks of me and I may struggle with it on a daily basis. But I work towards keeping it and attempting to vote for “Jesus” not through going to Church every Sunday and memorizing every Bible verse but by being a good person who’s good to others and expecting them to be good to him – despite all the signs pointing otherwise.
Have a contemplative Good Friday, everyone.