The Return – Part 4

pursuedmanGodlessmonkey will be away from the computer for a month on a much needed holiday. While I’m gone I’m rerunning some of my multi-part stories for the benefit of those who might not have read them the first time around or would like to read them again. I’ll be back with new stories from October 16th. Thank you all for your support.

Arriving at the church I felt a sense of peace come over me as I approached the open, inviting doors. This was it. My work was about to begin. I was overcome with joy at the prospect of being received, the gladness that would fill their hearts. I headed in and stood at the back and listened.

The minister noticed me standing there after he finished reading a Bible passage to the congregation.

“I see we have a new face. Welcome, stranger. Please, have a seat, join us.”

I strode to the pulpit and placed my hand on his shoulder.

“I know you don’t recognize me, brother. No reason you would. I bring you glad tidings.”

I turned to the congregation and threw my arms wide.

“I have returned to visit my children. I love you all. Blessed be!”

I was perplexed at first. Instead of the jubilation I was expecting, they simply stared at me, obviously uncertain what to say or do. I decided I needed to be more plain spoken.

“It is I, the Son of God. Manifest in the flesh again. I have come to show you the true way.”

There arose a murmur. People turned to each other and began speaking in low voices. I felt the minister’s hand on my arm.

“Son, I don’t know what you want here, but your behaviour is inappropriate. This is a house of God. If you’re making a joke…”

I turned to him and shook my head.

“No, Reverend, I most certainly am not. I am the one you call Jesus, though my parents this time around named me Joshua. I have returned to earth, born again of man twenty-seven years ago. I have travelled and watched and learned, and I see that so many of you really don’t understand the lessons I taught two thousand years ago. I have come to help you understand, that you may enter the kingdom of heaven! Rejoice, for I am returned!”

The look on the Reverend’s face dismayed me. Why could he not see? I turned to the congregation. Many had turned pale. Some hid their faces, and then one of the men stood and shook his fist at me.

“Blasphemy! How dare you enter the house of God and mock us? Get out! Get out now!”

A rising chorus of assent from the congregation told me that I was not being well received. I was confused.

“My children, you don’t understand, if you’ll just listen…”

Several men rushed the podium and grabbed me. They dragged me to the doors and threw me violently out into the pathway. One of them shook his fist at me and told me if he ever saw me again he would kick my ass. They went back inside and closed the doors. I lay there and wondered how this could have happened. I got up and dusted myself off and walked to the road. I needed to think this through. I knew from my observations over the years that they really didn’t understand what I had taught, but this was worse than I imagined.

I headed for a nearby park and sat down to consider my options.

Part 5 Tomorrow

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