Brian Wilcox 'Yellow African Marigold'
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Jesus returned to Earth and breathed again on a few of his followers. As long before he had said, breathing upon them, "Receive the holy Breath."
Soon, some followers closed the Breath in a bag, so they thought. They started a new religion based on this powerful, authentic experience with their Teacher.
After putting the bag in a golden box, they placed it on an altar surrounded with candles and incense. Worshippers would come to the altar, on which sat the box, with the Breath, in the bag, and sit or kneel or prostrate in adoration and prayer. They, also, could offer gifts of money there to support the religion.
The sect selected a committee to meet and return with a rite and doctrine about the Breath. There was much debate on the Breath's metaphysical import, its subtle connotations, and its practical place in a believer's life. Finally, the committee formulated a final version of the rite and doctrine by majority vote. No one was to question the committee's decision, for the Breath-Giver inspired it - so the committee assured the people.
At first, small numbers attended the worship of the new religion. In time, great crowds came and adored the gold decorated box, with the bag, with the Breath, in the church.
After many years, some persons claimed they were the only ones able to dispense the Breath's blessing. They set themselves up in a hierarchy over all the other believers. They taught the people about the Breath, wrote a book about it - which they said the Breath-Giver inspired. They penned a creed about it for public and private recitation. The religion established classes, workshops, conferences, retreats, and publishing houses to teach about the Breath in the bag, in the box, on the altar, in the sanctuary, with candles and incense surrounding it. It trained devotees to go throughout the world to convert others to the Breath. The religion published a prayer book and a worship book, including spiritual practices to worship and obey the Breath.
The religion started a Seminary of the Breath, so to have trained professionals to lead in the religion. These graduates produced many theories and authored many books and articles. The faith split into many factions, disagreeing on these teachings.
Over time, persons more and more challenged leadership on why the Breath had been treated as it had - put in a bag, in a box, on an altar, in a sanctuary. "If," they wondered, "Jesus has breathed the Breath on people, why bag it up and put it in a box, in a building?" And, "How could anyone bag up the Breath anyway?" They were told not to question the leaders, just to have faith. More and more of these skeptics began leaving the religion.
In time, the religion had waned much in its influence and its numbers had significantly dwindled. Few believed in its teaching or its desire to speak truthfully. Many in the religion, though, clung to the old ways. Most of these claimed the religion had been unfaithful to its first beginnings, so a return to the early, pure days was the way back to the vitality of the first believers of those glory days.
Jesus came back to Earth again. He thought, "They did it again!" And he said to himself, with sorrow in voice and heart, "How sad to see how blind they are, not seeing the Breath they claim to have kept safe for themselves is the Wind blowing everywhere - blowing freely, the same now as it did from me long ago."