The live stream for Palm Sunday glitched out and the sermon was not recorded. Fortunately, it was written as if it was an excerpt from a book written in the future. Here it is in written form. May you laugh, may you cry, may you find yourself in the story, and may you find your way to Jesus who loves you so much.
An excerpt from A Short History of the Second Coming by David Josephus.
On December 25, 2026, Jesus Christ returned to earth. Around the globe, the event was experienced as a blinding flash, causing a sonic boom heard worldwide. News outlets expounded on the event, and scientists searched for an explanation.
In the United States of America, the country on which this history focuses, the media obsessed over the economy and low consumer spending at Christmas, and few paid much attention.
It wasn’t until the following week that Americans began to take note. A man entered a mega church in Texas and yelled that they had turned God’s house into a shopping mall. Then he grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed the coffee bar. The event was recorded and posted on social media and went viral as #Jesus2.0.
Soon, the man had gathered followers. Everyone he encountered seemed to heal from something. The visible healings were captured on cell phones and also went viral. Soon, he appeared and disappeared all over the country. News outlets stationed reporters around the country but supporting the public’s fascination proved difficult.
This would-be messiah appeared all over the world. There was much speculation about who he was and how he managed to travel so quickly. Conspiracy theories arose about who was financing him. Leaders suggested it was a hoax created by the Illuminate, the Republicans, the Democrats, the Chinese, or the enemy of choice.
Jesus 2.0, as people called him, became a sensation. Whenever and wherever he appeared, thousands of people hopped planes, jumped in cars, and hurried to be near him. There were compelling reasons to believe he was who people claimed him to be. First was the infectious nature of the miracles. Wherever he went, healings of all sorts abounded. Thousand of videos found at #Jesus2.0 support this.
Second, he said mysterious and enigmatic things remarkably like Jesus of Nazareth but also distinctive and unique. For example, at the Athens, Georgia, Botanical Garden, Jesus 2.0 healed a grove of Black Ash trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer. He spoke to those gathered as above them, leaves exploded into fullness on the branches. Every phone recorded him saying, “You are held in the embrace of your mother, in the blanket of her protection, in the life of her womb, do not forsake her.”
Pundits and theologians went viral trying to explain or refute the meaning of his words. Pro-life conservatives printed T-shirts, as did Mainline Protestants, secularists, and members of the Wiccan community.
Suffice it to say, the interpretation of his statement varied widely.
Similar to the historical Jesus from Nazareth, Jesus 2.0 kept company with outcasts. Two drag queens were often seen in photos. One has subsequently written a best seller, entitled, The Gospel of Roxanne. An IRS executive, a meth addict, and several formerly incarcerated people comprised his closest American disciples.
Preachers and politicians attempted photo ops and appearances with him, but when they showed up, Jesus 2.0 repelled them. When Pastor Constantine Exavier of Holy Savior, ASA 14,000, Fort Worth, Texas, arrived with his entourage, Jesus 2.0 immediately condemned him as an idolator. He said, “You worship a book, and for that, your hatred burns. Love is a fire that will never die.”
Pastor Exavier went on television and condemned Jesus as perverting hell into heaven.
When the Presiding Bishop of a mainline denomination visited, Jesus 2.0 stepped behind a crowd of parents with their infants and never said a word to acknowledge her presence. On the subject of Jesus 2.0, she was subsequently silent.
Jesus 2.0 offended everyone by the company he kept. No one could distinguish their friends from their enemies.
That could explain why every partisan group recoiled from following him. The Republicans rejected him for demanding more entitlements and hanging out with socialists. , and conservative Christians rejected his vague universalism and lack of Biblical authority. Both groups began accusing him of being a sham or the antichrist.
By the end of the second year, most Conservatives lost interest. But Socialists, Pagans, Anarchists, Democrats, and Mainline Christians still flocked to every Jesus sighting. They hung on every word, tweeting and re-tweeting, flooding the internet and social media with Jesus' selfies and pithy but confusing quotes.
However, it wasn’t long before Jesus 2.0 offended them too.
It began with a report released by the Pew Charitable Foundation providing the statistical frequency at which Jesus 2.0 performed miracles, for whom, and where. They revealed that 75% of miracles and sightings happened in impoverished neighborhoods, with the vast majority of miracles happening to people of color.
Soon after, an Instagram reel went viral. In it, Jesus 2.0 turns his back on an attractive well-heeled white woman after she has worked hard to push through the crowd to see him. She stands crying into the camera while behind her; Jesus 2.0 straightens the back of an elderly black man, who begins jumping up and down with joy. Jesus disappears into the crowd, leaving her behind. From the video, #so -unfair was born.
White people were disappointed with Jesus 2.0. He did not meet expectations, and he insulted their leaders. Resentment grew, and Polls confirmed it. #so-unfair had 25,000 posts in its first week.
Within a year, most of those attending white mainline churches had lost interest in Jesus 2.0.
In February of 2028, a significant political event turned many toward Jesus 2.0 again: the President was preparing to dissolve social security. Liberals and even some Republicans, were up in arms.
When the streets filled with marchers, there was Jesus 2.0. First in Los Angeles, then in Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis. Polls showed Jesus 2.0’s popularity rise. Protests signs read: “Jesus says keep Social Security!” and, “I’m with 2.0.”
For the historical record, we have no evidence that Jesus 2.0 said anything about Social Security, for or against.
Nor, technically, did he protest the President. Instead, he spoke quietly with the marchers and healed those who asked.
Soon, organizers became annoyed.
They complained that he diverted people from the true purpose of the action. Instead of chanting and yelling, people were shushing each other so they could hear.
When the president invoked marshall law and imprisoned protesters in every major city, all eyes turned to Jesus 2.0.
It was spring and, coincidentally, the week of Palm Sunday. The Christian Century and Christianity Today, churned out headlines predicting the return of the King.
Although quite different, they shared a hope that this could be the beginning of the Biblical Millenium when Jesus 2.0 would establish the reign of God.
The Tonight Show, the Daily Show, and even the PBS Newshour had special features and guests pondering the likelihood of a divine coup. Saturday Night Live had its highest ratings in decades as Woody Harrelson and Alec Baldwin hosted the cold open posing as Jesus 2.0 and the president.
On Sunday morning, Palm Sunday, 2028, at sunrise, social media notifications lit up with news that Jesus 2.0 was on the Washington Mall. By 9 am, the stretch of lawn from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital was full of people. Former President Trump tweeted that attendance did not compare to his inauguration, but others disagreed.
By noon, the press captured footage of Jesus 2.0 driving a borrowed all terrrain vehicle. Tongues wagged about damage to the lawn, and speculation abounded about whose ATV it was.
Those in the crowd chanted “Je-sus for President, Je-sus for President!” and “Hosannah in the highest!”
Leaders took the stage to speak ardently about overthrowing the current government, and installing Jesus 2.0 as Divine King. They named universal access to miracles, the fulfillment of manifest destiny, and Jesus’ preference for Americans
as clear indications of God’s allegiance to America.
Then Jesus 2.0 climbed off the ATV and stepped onto the platform.
The short speech he gave to the thousands gathered and the millions watching sealed his doom.
The transcript is included in the appendix and will not be provided here.
However, we must name that the offense Jesus 2.0 gave was not one of commission but omission.
He said nothing revolutionary or partisan. In fact, the most striking feature of the speech was its ordinariness.
Adding to the disappointment, that very day, an explosive article was printed in the New York Post proving that Jesus 2.0 hadn’t arrived on Christmas Day 2026 during the sonic boom, but was born 33 years ago to a single mom in Akron, Ohio. His adoptive dad was a postal carrier.
Jesus 2.0 was arrested for fomenting insurrection and, the trial expedited.
Crowds gathered outside of the supreme court on, coincidentally, Good Friday. When Justice Sotomayer presented the majority opinion, Jesus 2.0 stood beside her wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.
Millions watched on television. Social Media blew up. Again, expectations rose. Jesus 2.0 would fulfill his Millenial mission and supernaturally overthrow the government, establishing the reign of God.
But as the Justice read the majority opinion, nothing happened.
The thousands of people standing along the steps and extending along the road, the millions watching with bated breath, saw only a short, uninteresting man in handcuffs. They had expected a savior, a revolutionary, a flash of light and the start of divine supremacy.
Instead, there was only the feint sound of the wind and the mundane noise of traffic.
They could not forgive him for being ordinary.
Rage and disappointment poured through the crowd and social media. The expectation for an overthrow was so high, the hopes for change so immediate, that Jesus 2.0’s silence and inaction
drew forth universal hatred.
Polling afterward showed an astonishing 89% support for his execution - a historically bi-partisan opinion.
The crowd before the supreme court were mostly liberal democrats, mainline protestants, and left-leaning ideologues -- all oppose the death penalty. Yet, they cried out for blood.
They had expected Jesus 2.0 to overthrow the government using power, but Jesus 2.0 did not do it. Either he refused to use supernatural force or he couldn’t. For either reason, they hated him and wanted him dead, and the government complied.
On the day of execution, most of the American population was at church except those watching championship football or shopping the Easter sales. Gallup polls showed very few people watched. Even in person, just a handful of people attended.
The president tweeted, “Today, we’ve killed an enemy of the people, a terrorist to our country, and a curse on our American way of life. Good riddance.”
The most compelling image left from that day won the 2029 Pulitzer Prize. In it, a short Hispanic woman weeps as she presses against a young black who lifts his face to the sky; his mouth hangs open in an agony of grief. Behind, we see the familiar faces of Jesus’ closest followers. One holds a sign saying, “This is not the end!”
By Pastor Rebecca Ragland
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland