Getting Angry with Jesus

Last week I shouted at Jesus...
It wasn't some sort of pious lament or in a dramatic "Two Cathedrals" way (if you don't understand I can't explain)...
I simply, in a moment of exasperation, blew my top at Jesus in one of his "distressing disguises" to use one of Mother Teresa's phrases...
I have all sorts of excuses... I was beyond busy... I was tired... My blood sugars were all over the place... I was concerned about the "big things" in society, and was trying to organise a meeting to play a small part in addressing them... On the way into work I had taken a phone call about a serious pastoral issue concerning a member of the congregation. I had just come out of speaking at a meeting after dealing with a difficult staff issue that had been building up for months... And I still had to prepare for another potentially problematic meeting that night...
And then someone whom I and others have been trying to help for some time, came to me with a fairly pressing problem... He's a guy with a range of issues and he doesn't help himself at times... He has annoyed more than a few of my church members, and leaves a trail of devastation in his wake.
But this problem was serious... So I swung into mini-messiah-mode and phoned someone who might be able to help... they couldn't but put me through to someone else... who again couldn't help but eventually, after about 30 minutes, put me through to the person who could... At each step of the way I had to get the person who had asked for help in the first place to confirm their identity and a few personal details... But they have a learned, and somewhat justified wariness of those in authority, and so each time they were less and less willing to part with the same information, until the final time they refused until, before I could wrestle the phone out of their hands, the person at the other end of the line hung up...
That is when I shouted at him...
In front of a number of other bewildered bystanders...
This person who feels that others look down on him (because most do)...
This person who had to swallow their pride and admit their need in coming for help in the first place...
This person who was made in the image of God...
I shouted at...
No, I didn't shout... I raised my voice, but at a level that most normal people would think of as shouting... 
A few days before I had preached on Matthew 25 where Jesus tells us a story about him separating people into two camps at the end of time, like a shepherd separating sheep from goats and telling the "sheep" that whatever we do for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the prisoner we do for him... But I was either deaf to my own sermon, or had pretended that just because the person I was dealing with wasn't explicitly described in this list he didn't count...
But he does count... in God's eyes...
It took a colleague to preach on the same passage again this past Sunday to realise, with horror what I had done...
I felt like a goat... 
The theory is easy, but when Jesus is actually in front of you in human form, sometimes you forget... And treat him the way you would treat anyone else... Or, as in this case, worse than I would treat anyone else...
Often it won't involve shouting at him... but ignoring him... avoiding him... complaining about him... or her...
It's too easy...
So I apologised to Jesus...
First in prayer...
Then yesterday in person to him, in his distressing disguise...
And in his grace he forgave me...

Now I am angry at a system that can make this man's life so difficult...
Selah

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