DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER


DINNER WITH A PERFECT STRANGER

(ADAPTATION BY L.G)

This is a lent story

 

(three people involved, Nick, Jesus, and Eduardo the waiter.  Locale is a restaurant. Props needed are food, cell phone, bottle of wine dishes, menus etc)

  

Nick – (on cell phone speaking to his wife, before entering restaurant area) I’m sorry.  I forgot to tell you about this dinner thing.  I know you’re upset.  No, I know I haven’t been home much lately.  (Pauses listening) Look, honey I promise I’ll make it up to you and Sarah.  I gotta go.  I’ll call as soon as I’m done here.  (he turns of cell and slowly walks into restaurant).

 

Eduardo-  (Waiter of restaurant, wearing upscale waiter attire) May I be of service sir?

 

Nick – Actually, I’m supposed to be meeting someone here.  I’m nick Com….(Waiter cuts him off.)

 

Eduardo – Cominsky, ahh yes you are.  Come right this way.  (Leads Nick to a table occupied by a man)  here you are sir.  (Nick sits) Can I bring you anything to drink?

 

Nick – I’ll just have water for now.  Thanks.

 

Other man – That’s good for me too, Eduardo.  

 

Nick – (reaches his hand across the table) I’m Nick Cominsky.

 

Other man – (grabs nicks hand) Hi.  I’m Jesus.

 

Nick – (continues to shake his hand) Uhhh huhh.

 

Other man – (drops Nicks hand) Thanks for meeting me here.   I’m sure you’re busy, it was good of you to come.  (he begins to peruse the menu)

 

Nick – Excuse me, but do I know you?

 

Jesus – That’s a great question.

 

Nick – As far as I can remember I’ve never met you before.

 

Jesus – (continues looking at menu and answers very matter of fact) Yep that’s true.

 

Nick – (Looks around the restaurant) Ok lets try this one more time.  You’re supposed to be?

 

Jesus – I’m Jesus.  My family all call me yeshua.

Nick – And you’re family is from?

 

Jesus – Nazareth.

 

Nick – Of course they are.

 

Jesus – I grew up there, but I wasn’t born there.

 

Nick – No of course you weren’t cuz you were born in?

 

Jesus – Bethlehem.  But we didn’t stay there long.  We had to leave and flee to Egypt.  Herod wanted to kill me.

 

Nick –Of course. ( nick stands to leave  then sits back down) Look, I’m not sure who you are or what’s going on but I don’t have time for any little games.  Did the guys at work put you up to this?  Cuz I can see them getting a huge laugh out of this.

 

Jesus – I’m sure this isn’t what you expected, but if you’ll just stay, talk with me, I think you’ll see it will be worth your while.

 

Nick – Sure I’ll stay.  Just like I stayed last week when I had a meaningful dinner with Napolean and he brought Abe Lincoln with him as well.  But wow!  Dinner with Jesus- you can’t get more meaningful or worthwhile then that.  (he gets louder)  I can’t believe you would fly in all the way from the holy land for me!  (He takes a big breath and looks around seeing people watching him, you could use the congregation as other diners at the restaurant, he stands) I need to get home to my family.

 

Jesus – Nick you don’t need to worry about your family.  Your wife, Mattie, is out with Jill and Rebecca from next door is babysitting sarah. 

 

Nick – (sits back down) How do you know my wife’s name?  Or the sitter for that matter?  Did Jills husband chris put you up to this?

 

Jesus – No he didn’t.

 

Nick – Yeah I thought this was too weird of a prank for him.  So it has to be the guys from work.

 

Jesus – listen, if you’ll stay and have dinner with me, I promise I’ll tell you who set this up.

 

Nick – This better not be some multi level marketing scheme.

 

Eduardo – (clears his throat) Excuse me.  Have you selected a wine sir?

 

Jesus – I think I’ll let my friend here choose.

Nick – Hmmm, who’s paying the bill?

 

Jesus –  Okay, sure I’ll pick.  (scans the list)  We’ll take the Kalike.

 

Eduardo – The Vermentino Di Gallura Kalike 98, great choice.

(At this point water should have already been brought for Nick and Jesus)

(Eduardo returns with the bottle and has Nick smell the cork, some in a glass and sip the wine.  Then he pours them each a glass)

 

Jesus – Thank you Eduardo.

 

Nick – So, Jesus, your family called you Yeshua.

 

Jesus – Most of them.  My brother James had some other names he called me.

 

Nick – Well, Yesh, you don’t mind if I call you yesh do you?

 

Jesus – Whatever you like.

 

Nick – Yesh it is then.  So tell me yesh, can you turn this wine here back into water?

 

Jesus – Oh that’s easy.  Excuse me Eduardo, my friend here would like another glass of water instead of this wine.  (Eduardo moves to take the wine glass, and nick grabs it back)

 

Nick – Very funny.  I think I’ll keep the wine.

 

Jesus – Thanks again Eduardo.  Sorry to have bothered you.  (Both looking over menu as Eduardo stands nearby to hear their order)  So, Nick what do you think?

 

Nick – I think I’m nuts for not leaving when I had the chance.

 

Jesus – I meant about what you would like to eat.

 

Nick – I think I’ll go with the veal.  How about you?  Will it be bread to go with your wine?  Or maybe some fish and loaves.

 

Jesus – Actually, you are partially right.  I’m gonna go with the salmon.

 

(Eduardo writes their order as they tell it to each other. He walks away)

 

Jesus – So, Nick, tell me about your family.

 

Nick – I thought you already knew everything about everyone already.  You had that Judas guy all figured out, didn’t do you much good in the end though did it?

 

Jesus – Hmmm.

 

Nick – Did ya think I knew nothing about religion?  Even I went to Sunday school when I was a kid.

 

Jesus – Humor me, Nick, okay?  Where is your family from?

Nick – Actually, yesh, I’d rather hear about your family.  What was it like growing up with Mary and Joseph as parents?

 

Jesus – well, growing up in Nazareth was a bit different then your life in Chicago was.  There was no Wrigley field or foot long hot dogs.

 

Nick – Wait a minute, how did you know I grew up in Chicago?

 

Jesus – Hmmm, (smiles at Nick) Joseph worked a lot.  Fortunately for us his shop was next to the house.  He worked at an unhurried pace, not like the pace people work today.  Well, Joseph did speed things up a bit when he heard me coming.  He tried to finish projects before I got my hands on them.  I messed up so many projects for him.  Looking back now it’s pretty humorous.  I wasn’t exactly a master carpenter when I was 8.

(Eduardo brings some bread, Jesus cuts it)  Some bread for you?

 

Nick – (takes a piece and bites into it.)  So Joseph was your average Joe.  But I bet growing up with Mary was hard.  I’m sure it was difficult having such a revered woman as your mom.

 

Jesus – She was hardly revered.  Having a baby out of wedlock in my day was hardly…

 

Nick –Kosher?

 

Jesus – Well, it wasn’t the thing to do that’s for sure.

 

Nick – All the paintings of her made her look so saintly.

 

Jesus – I had an amazing mom.  She never lost her faith and her sense of humor was fabulous.  It was hard for her to watch her son being worshipped one minute and rejected and shunned the next.  I think it was harder then she expected.

 

Nick – Look, Yesh, these stories are great but they aren’t anything anyone with a bible and half an imagination couldn’t come up with.  You’re going to have to do better.

 

Jesus – Do better at what, Nick?  I don’t think there’s anything I can say to you to make you believe I’m Jesus.

 

Nick – That’s probably true.

 

Jesus – How about this.  Why don’t you just pretend I’m really Jesus.  I’m sure if the real jesus were sitting here, in front of you, you’d have some questions for him.

  

Nick – Okay, for arguments sake, I’ll play along. The other day I passed a church.  On their billboard it said “no one comes to the father but through me, Jesus”.  If you actually said that, well, I think you’re full of it. 

 

(Eduardo walks up with soup bowls and interrupts Nick)

 

Eduardo – (Clears his throat) Your tomato basil soup and your stuffed mushrooms.  Enjoy!

 

Jesus – Do you mind if I pray before we eat?

 

Nick – (slight pause)  Umm no, not at all.

 

Jesus – (Looks up toward ceiling) Father thank you for always providing for us, and loving us.  (Jesus lowers his head and prepares to eat.)

 

Nick – That’s it?

 

Jesus – Did you want to add more?

 

Nick – Uh no that about covers it.

 

Jesus –So Nick why is it that you think that I’m as you put it, full of it?

 

Nick – You’ve got all these people around the world that believe in all these different things, and worship “god” in all different ways.  But, Jesus, you claim only your way is the right way.

 

Jesus – And your difficulty with that is?

 

Nick – Well, a lot actually.  Who’s to say that Jesus’ way is or was any better then Mohamed or Buddha or Confucius or, whoever the Hindu guys is?

 

Jesus – What do you think of say, Hinduism for example?

 

Nick – Well, I have a couple of friends who are into Hinduism and it seems to work for them.

 

Jesus – But do you think it is true?

 

Nick – I’d have to say that it is for them.

 

Jesus – hmmm, Ya know before Copernicus most people believed the earth was flat.  That was false, but it worked for them back then.  Why is that?

 

Nick – It probably didn’t matter much.  Until Columbus no one traveled far enough for it to be an issue.

 

Jesus – What if humanity had tried to go to the moon still believing the earth was flat?

 

Nick – So, your point is what?

 

Jesus – What people believed did work for them even though it was untrue, but only to a point.  At some critical point it stopped working.  They had to face the untruth of it.

 

Nick – And?

 

Jesus – You tell me.  You’re the one with the masters degree.

 

Nick – It’s in business not philosophy.

 

Jesus – At some point during that degree process you had to do some thinking.

 

Nick – So, you’re saying that even if a belief system seems to work for someone, if it’s false or untrue it will eventually break down and the system will have to be changed.

 

Jesus – And you don’t want what you trust or believe in, what you put your faith in to be wrong, now Mr. scientist do you?

 

Nick – I used to be a scientist.  That was long ago.

 

Jesus – You took a comparative religion class at Northern Illinois.  How does Hinduism line up with what you know about the universe?

 

Nick – How did you know I took that class?  Nevermind.  If I remember right, Hinduism teaches that the universe is simply an extension of this universal force called ummm..

 

Jesus – Brahman.

 

Nick – Yes Brahman.  The ultimate essence….

 

Jesus – meaning that God is the universe and the universe is God.

 

Nick – Yes.  There is no separate creator.

 

Jesus – How long has the universe existed?

 

Nick – Hindus would say the universe is eternal.

Jesus – Nick how does that match with what astronomers have discovered n the last century?

 

Nick – (Pauses) Not too well, actually.  All evidence points to the fact that the universe had an actual beginning in time.  Possibly this happened around 15 billion years ago.

 

Jesus – So, if Hinduism is true how did the universe get here?

 

Nick – I don’t know.

 

Jesus – That makes two of us.  Hinduism has other problems as well.

 

Nick – Such as?

 

Jesus – Well, morality for one thing.  Humans are very moral beings.  All societies even primitive ones, have complex and similar moral codes.

 

Nick – I agree with that.

 

Jesus – Now think about this.  What is the ultimate source of morality in Hinduism?  Does Brahman establish right and wrong?

 

Nick –  Actually, no.  Brahman is Amoral.  With the universal force nothing is ultimately right or wrong.  It simply is.

 

Jesus – So, what’s the basis of morality if the source of all things is non moral?  What makes anything inherently right or wrong?

 

Nick – I suppose we do.

 

Jesus – But Nick, you are an extension of Brahman which is amoral; Neither right nor wrong.  Then there’s the whole issue of individuality.

 

Nick – What do you mean?

 

Jesus – Well, one of the things that is most important to humans is their individuality.  It’s part of being human.  So what does Hinduism teach about that?

 

Nick – Okay, I’m catching on to that one.  Hinduism says that personality is an illusion.  You have to renounce it to be in oneness with the universe.

 

Jesus – So, one day every human is absorbed into Brahman and you lose your individuality.  How did an impersonal universal force bring about such unique personalities?  And then what would be the benefit of those humans losing that individuality?

 

Nick – yeah well you could make these same arguments about all eastern religions.

 

Jesus – you’re right.  And that’s the problem with them.  They bring a false understanding of life.  And then there’s Buddhism.

 

Nick – For Buddhists it’s about following an 8 fold path, stamping out all attachment and desire in yourself in order to enter nirvana. 

 

Jesus – How much have humans accomplished without passion?

 

Nick – Not much, Probably nothing.

 

Jesus – You know biology.  Ho many sensory nerve cells do we have in our skin that is capable of providing pleasure?

 

Nick – Millions.

 

Jesus – So, somehow an impersonal universe has taken the form of personal beings with strong desires and the ability to feel great pleasure but the goal of life is to get rid of that desire; basically, to feel nothing.

 

Nick – I see how that doesn’t make much sense.

 

Eduardo – Excuse me, may I clean some of these dishes away for  you?

 

Nick – Umm, yeah, yes sure.

 

Jesus – Thank you Eduardo.  So Nick are you finding our conversation interesting?

 

Nick – Well, it’s a bit like trivial pursuit the religious version.  But, I’m managing to keep up.  Let me ask you a question.  How about Islam?  Muslims claim to worship the god of the Bible.  Who or what says that their version is wrong and Jesus was right?

 

Jesus – (takes a sip of water) That actually depends on whether or not God spoke to Mohamed.  There is an awful lot of weight given to the writings by a guy who after supposedly hearing from an angel wasn’t sure he heard fro God, who had persistant bouts with suicidal thoughts, built a following based partly on military conquests, thought murder of his enemies was a good thing, married a nine year old child and….

 

Nick – Wait, the only one of those things I’ve heard about before is the military one.  Who says that other stuff is true?

 

Jesus – Well, there’s the Saint Rasue Allah, The hazuth collections of Bukhari, Muslim Abu Dawad and the list goes on.  All of these are revered Muslim writings.

 

Nick – But isn’t Christianity based on the fact that God spoke to some guy?

 

Jesus – Nope.  The Bible has over 40 authors spanning over 15 hundred years all with a consistent message running through out.  That is a point FOR not against Christianity.

 

Nick – But who’s to say that God didn’t speak to Muhammad? 

 

Jesus – if God did he got somethings wrong.

 

Nick – Like?

 

Jesus – Well, Mohamed wrote that I was never crucified.  That God’s angels rescued me and took me straight to heaven.

 

Nick – You mean they took JESUS straight to heaven.

 

Jesus – isn’t that what I just said?  They took ME straight to heaven.

 

Nick – Okay, whatever.  Maybe Muhammad was right.

 

Jesus – (grinning)  Nope.  He wasn’t.

 

Nick – oh right, I forgot, you were there.  I’ve suspended my disbelief for this one evening.  I get it.

 

Jesus – (ignoring him)  You don’t need to take my word ofr it.  My crucifixion is well documented in history not only by early Christians but also non Christian historians of the time.  Throw out my crucifixion and you may as well throw out everything you know about ancient history.

 

Nick – Okay I’ll give you that one.

 

Jesus – Hey, if this were Trivial Pursuit I’d be cleaning up about now!

 

Nick – So, Jesus has a sense of humor.  Great.

 

Jesus – You know Islam teaches other things that aren’t true as well.  For example according to Islam the Bible has been altered over time so that what you have now is a highly corrupted version that can’t be trusted.

 

Nick – So?

 

Jesus – So, False!! Any scholar in the field will tell  you that the dead sea scrolls, for one thing, show the truth of the Hebrew Bible.  And there are over 5000 early manuscripts that validate the new testament.  And there are all the things that authors wrote.  It’s up to you what you do with all the information.  But you have what they wrote.  (Jesus takes a pause)  But, that’s not the biggest problem with Islam, nick.

Nick – I’ll bite what is it?

 

Jesus – (Leans closer to nick, talks a bit softer)  Nick, what is the desire of your heart?  Your deepest desire, hope, dream?

 

Nick – Uh, I’m not sure I want to get into that.  Isn’t that a bit personal?

 

Jesus – Let’s talk generally then.  What do people most deeply long for, in their hearts?

 

Nick – A raise?  (pauses)  Alright I guess people long to be loved, accepted for who they are.

 

Jesus – (leaning forward again) I’m trying not to get to personal Nick, but, in your experience has another person, including your wife, parents anyone, benn able to completely fulfill you need for love?

 

Nick- (looks down, plays with his wedding ring)  Well, no not really.

 

Jesus – That’s because they can’t nick.  Only God can.  He created people that way.  But Muslims, they never have that hope.  You cannot have a personal relationship with Allah.   He is to be worshipped from afar.  He doesn’t meet the deepest need of humanity’s heart.  Why would God create a people with such a need for personal, deep intimacy and then never meet that need?

 

Nick – (sips his wine)  maybe Muslims don’t have all the answers.  But does anyone?

 

Jesus – (almost sadly) No they don’t.  they only think they do.

 

Nick – (stares away) What if there is no God?  What if this world is all there is?

 

Jesus – Then you have the problem of design.

 

Nick – You mean there’s no way it could’ve all happened by accident?

 

Jesus – Are you aware of Roger Penrose?

 

Nick – yeah, he developed the black hole theory.

 

Jesus – do you know what his calculations are of a cosmic accident producing this orderly universe rather then chaos?

 

Nick – Well, I haven’t seen Penrose’s but I’ve seen similar stuff by hawking and Dyson.  One in a million?

 

Jesus – Try one in a hundred million to the one hundred twentieth power.

 

Nick – Not very good odds.

 

Jesus – And that’s just micro-universe.  He omits the design complexity of biological life.

 

Nick – (grabs bread, butters it) Fine.  I do admit that there has to be some transcendent being, not just physical existence.  By the way, you’re great at poking holes in all these other religions.  It seems to me, though, that all religions, including Christianity, are simply different paths to the same place.  I mean everyone’s looking for god and…

 

Jesus – (cuts him of) Are you?

 

Nick – As I was saying, everyone’s looking for God in their own way.  That’s why I like our friends Dave and Paula’s church.  They welcome all beliefs, they try to help everyone on their pat to god.

 

Jesus – There’s a problem with that thinking.

 

Nick – I should have guessed.  I’m sure you’re going to tell me.

 

Jesus – there is no path to god.

 

Eduardo – I have your salads sirs.  And your main courses will be right out.

 

Jesus – Thanks again.  (pauses)  Nick would you like to try my tortellini salad?  I know you thought it looked good when you and your wife were  here for dinner.

 

Nick – yeah my wife and I came here and that’s what she ordered but….(pause)  how did you know that?   Oh never mind.  (Jesus scoops some salad on Nicks plate)  Thanks

 

Jesus – This place serves huge portions.  I’m happy to share.

 

Nick (takes a bite)  This is ungodly, no pun intended.  So what do you mean there’s no path to God?  Every religion claims to teach the way to reach god.

 

Jesus – Oh there’s a way to God.  There’s not a path.  What I mean is this.  A path is what you travel down, on your own effort to reach a destination.  But, there’s no such path to God.  You cannot work your way to God.  That “path” doesn’t exist.  It…

 

Nick – (cuts him off) Wait one minute.  That’s all that religion is about; trying to get to god.  How can you say differently?

 

Jesus – (Takes a bite of food) Did you ever get in trouble as a kid?

 

Nick – Are we changing the subject?

 

Jesus – We’ll get back to the other one.

 

Nick – I seriously don’t think this place stays open long enough for me to get into my trouble making history.

 

Jesus – That bad? (he smiles) come on.  Give me one highlight.

 

Nick – Well, the first spanking I remember was when I was four, for ummm…well… sneaking the lifesavers off the Christmas ornaments my mom had made.  My dad spanked me for that one.  There were other times too.

 

Jesus – like when your sisters shake plopped in her face because you bonked the bottom of the cup?

 

Nick – (laughs) Oh yeah there was that.  I got a monster spanking for that one.

 

Jesus – So dad handled spanking huh?

 

Nick – yep and mom screamed at us.  But dad didn’t spank much at all.  He used words more and always made us apologize to whoever we hurt, especially mom.

 

Jesus – (sips his wine) Sounds like your dad had a lot in common with God.

 

Nick – How so?

 

Jesus – healing relationships was very important to him.

 

Nick – meaning?

 

Jesus – Your dad made you admit what you had done, how you hurt someone else and apologize; restoration of relationships.  God’s like that too.  God’s think is putting relationships back together.

 

Nick – Hmm guess I’d never thought about that.

 

Jesus – Tae your daughter Sarah for instance.  If she does something wrong when she gets older, how many dishes will she have to wash to be able to hug you again?

 

Nick – None.

 

Jesus – How many A’s in school will she need to keep you loving her?

 

Nick – None.  That’s just silliness.  She’s my daughter.  She doesn’t need to do anything to earn my love.

 

Jesus – Now your catching on.

 

Nick – So we can’t do anything to earn God’s acceptance.

 

Jesus – Let me see…. Muslims never know how much praying or fasting they need to do.  Hindus don’t know how many lifetimes they have to live to successfully work out their karma.  And Buddhists, well, how much effort will they have to put forth to reach nirvana?

 

Nick – I don’t know.

 

Jesus – neither do they.

 

Nick – But Christians are no different.  No one can know if they’ve been good enough to go to heaven.

 

Jesus – Au contraire.  People can know.  They’ll never be good enough, no matter how hard they try.

 

Nick – So, you’re saying that giving an offering, teaching Sunday school, going to church won’t get you in?  Or keeping the ten commandments?

 

Jesus – Oh there is great profit in obeying God.  It just won’t get you into heaven.  (Pause) I’m sure you would agree that there’s a moral fabric to humanity.

 

Nick – I guess I could go along with that.

 

Jesus – Humanities rebellion against God is a huge rip in that fabric.  Humanities separation from God is very profound.  Look around, selfishness, bitterness, rebellion, abuse, wars all a result of human rebellion.  Hundreds are murdered by war, genocide.  Children are abused.  Nick, only God is big enough to fix that tear.  Only God!

 

Nick – So, being good isn’t enough to get to heaven.  So how do we get there?

 

Jesus – Nick, in God’s eyes everyone from Hitler to Stalin to Mother Teresa to Joseph and Mary are sinners.  The only bridge to gap that tear is through Jesus.  Nick, you’re bored with your life.  You want more.  You want to be around for your daughter.  How can you change your life nick?  Can you do it on your own?  Have you been successful on your own so far?

 

Nick – So, tell me.  How do we make this tear, this rip in the fabric of humanity go away?

 

Jesus – God is forgiving and god is Just.  Someone has to pay for the sin of the world Nick.

 

Nick – Sort of a catch 22 isn’t it?

 

Jesus – No, Nick.  Cuz God paid the penalty himself.

 

Nick – How?

 

Jesus – Jesus is God.  The creator.  He took the penalty on himself.

 

Nick – Why would he do that?

 

Jesus – Nick, if your daughter were in trouble, real bad trouble, wouldn’t you do anything you could to take the punishment from her and pay it yourself?

 

Nick – Of course I would.  I love her.

 

Jesus – God traded places with you Nick.  With all of humanity.

 

Eduardo – Excuse me, here are your desserts.

 

Jesus – Thanks.  Tonight has been spectacular as always Eduardo.

 

Nick – so, how did he do it?  God I mean.

 

Jesus – God took your sin, humanities’ sin, upon himself.  That satisfies perfect justice, in return he offers you, all of humanity a not guilty verdict.

 

Nick – What does one have to do to get it?

 

Jesus – Receive it, that’s all.

 

Nick – Wait a minute.  I don’t have to do anything?  It’s free?

 

Jesus – it’s free.  You don’t have to do anything.

 

Nick – How do I receive it?

 

Jesus – Trust nick.  Trust in Him.  All relationships are based on trust.  Trust that he died to pay for your sin.  Accept the gift.

 

Nick – I’m confused.  The Bible said jesus died on the cross.  Not God.

 

Jesus –  Nick, I am God. 

 

(Nick gets up and begins to walk away, talking to  himself)

Nick – He’s God?  How can that be?  I’m losin it that’s all.  I’m looney, nuts. (walks back and sits back down)  Okay prove it.

 

Jesus – Prove it?

Nick – That you’re God.

 

Jesus – What would convince you?

 

Nick – Well, you couldn’t even turn wine into water earlier.

 

Jesus – That is your assumption.

 

Nick – I’m having a hard time believing that God would become a man, and then let himself, who is also his son die.  And I don’t think God would ask people just to take a blind leap of faith about him.

 

Jesus – Nope you’re right.  That’s what the worlds religions do.  God gives proof before he expects faith.  History proves that Jesus was real.  Prophets said a Messiah would come. You, Nick, were focused a lot on Elizabeth from the bible when you took that bible class.  You missed the important stuff.  Go back and read Isaiah.  Read the prophecies told hundreds of years before my birth. 

 

Nick – wait, how did you know I took a Bible class?

 

Jesus – I was there. I have been here your whole life.   Nick everything regarding the messiah from the place he’d be born to how he would die was foretold hundreds of years before it happened.

 

Nick – So, you were dead, crucified and no you’re here with me.  How do I know that’s true?

 

Jesus – Even my own disciples had a hard time believing, Nick.  I had to show them my hands and my feet.

 

Nick – But your own people fight against each other.  Take the crusades or northern Ireland.  Even the Christians now days argue over trite inconsequential things.

 

Jesus – yes and it saddens me.  Most people who did those things or are doing these things in my name didn’t really know me at all.  Remember, all I want is a relationship with humanity.  But, if people won’t listen… well…

 

Nick – so no real Christian has perpetrated these things?

 

Jesus – Oh no, that’s not true.  It’s not the norm, but it does happen too frequently.  When people put their trust in me they gain more forgiveness and then changes really happen.

 

Nick – And what about human suffering?

 

Jesus – man’s rebellion causes separation from god.  Remember the Tear? The rip? Suffering happens because man is separated from God.

(Eduardo brings the bill)

 

Jesus – I like Eduardo.  He is a humble man.

 

Nick – So what’s heaven like?

 

Jesus – It’s cool.  The sights, the smells, colors, well, they’re heavenly.

 

Nick – Funny.  So what do I do to get to go there?

 

Jesus – Receive the gift of eternal life.  I am eternal life Nick.  Receive me, my love, you’ll spend eternity with me in heaven.  Eternal life begins the minute you receive my love and forgiveness.  Do you remember inviting me to this dinner Nick?

 

Nick – I can’t say that I do.

 

Jesus – it was when your dad left.  You asked me to come here and tell you why.  So, I’m here.

 

Nick – You make it sound so easy.

 

Jesus – It is Nick.  For you, your family.  Take my hand.  I’ll be with you every step of the way.  Let me in, to live inside you.  You’re life will be an adventure.  I’ll be there for you to fall back on, to lean on when things overwhelm you.  I won’t take  your life away like you think I will.  I will give you life.

 

Nick – how often do you come here to malano’s?

 

Jesus – This is my first time, why?

 

Nick – you seem to know Eduardo so well.

 

Jesus – I’ve known Eduardo for years.  And, he knows me.

 

Nick – (Reaches out to shake jesus’ hand)

 

Jesus – (grabs his hand and holds his gaze) Just receive nick.  Let me in.

 

Nick – So, will we meet again?

 

Jesus – that’s entirely up to you Nick.  But I sure hope so!

 

(He walks away.)

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