Plan A from Heaven

You give it your all.

Imagine looking at the world a couple millennia ago, a messenger was looking for the best place to be born as a human (by means, and for cosmic reasons, beyond our fathoming, much less our purposes here).

Looking down on earth from space

If the message were to spread the word of one just, moral, loving Father in Heaven (and associated truth), and spread that message as widely as possible among the planet's inhabitants, among what people would such seeds find rich soil?

Would be nice to have a religion with a long grounding in monotheism, with a powerful ideal of justice and morality and duty, and with a good sense of mercy and love of heaven - even if divine justice part tended to be loudest. A sectarian cohesiveness, but a sense of personal relationship with the Creator would also be helpful. Being stable economically and wise in business as a people would be a solid grounding.

If these people were united through their beliefs and common home of a central holy site, yet were maximally dispersed among humankind, trading and living among all civilizations from West to East (of the Old World, anyway), that would greatly facilitate the spread of the message.

Lo and behold, here's this carpenter fellow and his lovely bride right where you need them.

Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus

Okay, but...

What if, when the time comes, They might not accept the message. They - the corrupt Establishment, the Powers That Be, the politically poor and confused whom we seem to have with us always - They might just try to squelch the message, even connive to do in the messenger. It happens all the time.

Good plans can encounter setbacks, anticipated results can be delayed, and this is never more true than when you can't win over qualified people you were counting on. You have to search out others, and maybe train them up more Doesn't mean the project is finished. Sometimes you just have to shift tactics.

Because, people are free to choose.

In Real Life, one doesn't know until one tries. Or, okay, really, maybe one does know, but has to try anyway. (Good parents especially experience this.)

So, where once an enthusiastic young new citizen traveled to the holy city with his parents and gazed in wonder at the gleaming temple, later, the more sober and experienced teacher traveled to the holy city with his students, and wept for his people and the beautiful city and all the possibilities lost. Yet into the city he went.

Jesus Weeping by Tissot

When the arrest warrants were sworn out, Alexandria would have been safe harbor.

When the future destruction of the city became obvious to anyone who could see the storm coming, flight was reasonable.

When the enemies swore the teacher's destruction, they were confounded while he rode into town to the celebration of loud crowds, and walked around freely. so they plotted to take him in secret. So, there was ample time to get away.

Then, in the night, in the Garden, it was still possible to avoid the painful, poisonous cup that was prepared. So easy to just walk away, right up to the moment of the betrayer's arrival with the cops.

Knowing what was coming every step of the way, but never shirking the duty to complete the attempt. What a profound, utterly human struggle.

Rejected by the same hosanna-singing masses that were such welcoming voices a week before, could the brutal torture and execution feel any worse?

The leader buried, the movement scattered.

Everything about what happened, long, long ago, to that little movement in that little place, which place itself would be destroyed soon, should have been forgotten by history.

What answer to prayer came when the prayer was to let the cup pass? "Sorry. No." Apparently.

And why was that okay? There's a backup plan. Always. Count on it.

Jesus Christ - The Chief Cornerstone