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  • Reverend James Squire

Sadie the Wonder Dog is Scared to Death of Me

Photo by Jacob Bentzinger

Sadie the Wonder Dog is scared to death of me. How do I know this? Yesterday when I was standing at our kitchen counter, she got right next to me with her paws on the counter. Looked at me with those brown eyes that asked, “Where are the treats? I am counter surfing! Remember yesterday?” When I said, “Get down, she did just that. Yesterday I made a ham and cheese sandwich, put it on the counter, and left to get something from my office. In two seconds, it was half eaten. I managed to save the other half. I don’t believe in yelling or hitting a dog so that is the price I pay. In fact, I yell at people who yell at her. My family says that I spoil her. I prefer to see it as following the Dr. Spock of dog treatment after the very progressive treatment that he recommended in treating young children. He campaigned against “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Sadie greets me every morning at the bottom of the stairs with her tail wagging not because she loves me but because she knows that I will give her a biscuit then. I am not fooled.

The above paragraph is true with one exception, that Sadie is scared to death of me which may have been the hook to read this far in the first place. It is called “bait and switch”. It got some interested enough to see some more. Stores, car dealers, and websites are notorious for the “bait and switch”. Stores usually advertise something of great value that is reduced in price, and when you get there, they no longer have that item. They do, however, have many more expensive items to show you. This approach is not legal in some states.

It is legal on websites. The only web site that I read on a daily basis is CNN Breaking News. As you are reading the news, there are all sorts of advertisements to keep you reading with “catch and bait” style. Today on the CNN Breaking news were “29 Google Street View Photos That Raise Eyebrows.” When you look at the “catch”, the “bait” it is hardly eyebrow raising, but there are plenty of sales ads to look at. Another was “Red Carpet Falls We Will Never Have Enough Of”. The results when you click on the title doesn’t deliver much, but does have adds for various skin products and clothing lines.

Such titles mislead us to more interruptions like subscriptions known as popups to the Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post. You can’t get them off the page to read an article. The result is frustration, feeling stupid, a failed expectation, and anger.

So why start a blog with a total lie and a piece of irony? It has a lot to do with Holy Week and perhaps the greatest “bait and switch” in the history of humankind. It all has to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection. Some feel that it was the Jews who killed Jesus. This evil lie has been a root of a great deal of anti- Semitism. Others feel it had to be a jealous caste of the priesthood, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Not enough proof in Rabbinic Theology to prove that one. Who killed Jesus? You and I did. It was the general population of the day!

The central theme leading to Jesus’ death is “bait and switch” and a failed expectation. The Romans were oppressing the people. The people yearned for a political messiah as depicted in Hebrew Literature. That was what they thought they had, someone to lift the foot of oppression off their necks. Why else would there be such a triumphant entrance into Jerusalem with the crowd waving palm branches and declaring “Hosanna! Hosanna!” The crowds of people created their own “bait” in the form of Jesus. They were going to catch, through him, freedom from oppression. We forget that freedom was a big hunger for the people. A big parade means a big hunger for something they didn’t have, much like the parades in a city after a team has lost for many years. We forget an important phrase. “They were desperate for a political messiah. That is what they yearned for.”

Jesus through his words and actions says, “That’s not me!”. I am here for something bigger. I am here for something that will change history. I am here for your very soul. I am here to quench your thirst and give life to you now and for all eternity. You will never be thirsty again. I am a spiritual messiah.” The crowds’ vision was a near sighted faith meaning they could only see near driven by immediate gratification. This near sighted faith was blurry so they could not see in the distance the meaning of the cross and the empty tomb. No one else did the bait and switch. They did it to themselves driven by a relentless need for power now. We can’t forget this during this week that we deem holy or nothing else makes much sense.

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