Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End Times (02/27/14)
TITLE: Eating Pizza With Jesus
By Toni Hammer
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“Well, I guess that means it’s break time,” Eli said, standing up and heading to the kitchen.
It was almost 1 a.m. and the four friends—Eli, Joey, Meg, and Autumn—were crowded into Eli’s small studio studying for their Eschatology midterm. It appeared Joey had studied past his limit.
“No, guys, I’m serious. Did Jesus ever break wind? Or belch? At least tell me if he belched.”
“What is wrong with you?” Meg rolled her eyes. “You’re so gross.”
“I need to know if He was human,” Joey answered.
“What are you talking about? Of course He was human. That’s the whole point: fully God and fully human,” argued Autumn.
“Right. I know He was human in the sense He was flesh and blood. But I need Him to be more human.” Joey took a swig from his soda and stared at the can. His eyes told everyone he was deep in thought.
“More human? What’s really on your mind, Joey?” Eli asked, returning from the kitchen with a bag of chips. The unfamiliar pensive look on Joey’s face told him his best friend wasn’t merely trying to sidetrack the group.
“I’m thinking…” he paused. “I’m thinking it matters if Jesus farted—”
“Please stop saying that,” Autumn sighed.
“Pardon me. I think it matters if Jesus had flatulence,” he smirked at her and continued. “Or if He had bad breath or smelled after a few weeks.”
An exasperated Meg moaned. “But why, Joey?”
“Because we think this stuff matters, right?” he said, holding up their Eschatology class textbook. He didn’t wait for a response. “We think this stuff, this end times stuff, matters. And it matters because we think it’s true. And if it’s true then Jesus really was fully human and fully God.”
“Joey. Dude. You need to get to your point. It’s 1 a.m. and we have class in seven hours.” Eli really wanted to understand what his friend was trying to say, but time, and his patience, was running out.
“Okay, okay. What I’m getting at is… I believe Jesus was fully human and fully God. Obviously. And I believe He’s going to come back here and do His thing when the world ends because, ya know, He’s God. But we hear all these sermons and songs about His holiness, His awesomeness, His God-ness. And if all I see Him as is this—”
“All powerful deity,” Meg piped up.
“Right. If all I see Him as is this guy who appears to be more like God and less like a man then it makes it hard for me to believe He’s my friend. That He cares about me on that level. You guys are my friends—my best friends. And we’re best friends because we’re transparent with each other, right?” He glanced around the room seeing faces that were now more curious than annoyed. “I want that same transparency with Jesus so that I can believe He’s not just this judge who’s going to ride back here at the end of time on a cloud and send some of us to Heaven and others to Hell. I want a Jesus that I can shoot hoops with, eat pizza with—”
“Fart in front of.” Autumn blushed.
“Yes! Fart and belch the ABC’s with! I need a human Jesus and a holy Jesus. I need a holy Jesus who is fully God and lived a perfect life and suffered a cruel and inhumane death for me. But I also need a human Jesus. A Jesus who wants to hang out with me on a Friday night talking about test scores and vacation plans. A Jesus that’s both holy and human is the Jesus I need. That’s a Jesus I can trust with my life here on Earth, through all the trials and tribulations, and into eternity.” He took another long drink from his soda and they all sat quietly. Each of the four contemplated their view of Jesus. Did they need to remember that Jesus was more than a good guy—He was God? Did they need to be reminded that Jesus was their friend who just wanted to spend time with them? Joey had forced a time of deep introspection amongst the group.
Then someone farted.
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