It seems it all began with a rib that formed another person or the other version where they’re together already. You take your pick which one you want to believe.
From there we move to some pretty interesting developments. We just heard this week about the necessity of eating paper to know who God is, connect the dots to find an OT 80 year old expecting a child to the NT’s version of another 80 year old having her first child. (Watch out old folks! Just when you thought it was safe!)
How about serving the best wine late and wrecking a long standing custom of the expensive first and then the cheap stuff? Or giving the youngest son an inheritance to which he was never entitled to in the first place? Can you beat living inside a whale for three days? Or, how about the runt with a slingshot who writes over 200 songs and has his best friend killed so he can marry his wife? (Try to beat that one!)
What if your cousin spent forty days in the desert eating honey. Locust I can understand but how do you find honey in the desert? And, the “virgin birth”? We say those two words as though they naturally go together when each time we say them we should pause, at least for a moment. And how about a picture of the Son of God looking like a German. It’s in all of our homes. Instead of the Jewish man he was with probably with a Jewish nose. And then he tells the dizzy dozen a dozen times that he’s about to be killed and rise from the dead after three days and then they’re all amazed when it finally happens? (He told them it was going to happen!)
What about the famous threes? Tell your friend that you love him three times and then disown him the same number of times. And then to top it off, that same loved/betrayed friend takes the dumbest of the dozen and names him the first pope? (What’s with that anyway?)
And what of the contradictions? “Turn the other cheek” instead of “an eye for an eye.” (Reelect Sheriff Clark!) “Blessed are the peacemakers…” I’ve come to set “mother against son” and every other relative against every other relative.
The coin is in the fish’s mouth, a story about angels is misused and instead homosexuality is inserted, the unnamed wife is turned to stone for looking back and we still don’t know how many women and children were fed with that dried-up bread and leftover fish.
Fanciful or faithful – we are captured. Magic or mystical – it’s gotten our attention. Fact or fiction – we have no absolutely no idea. “Fact or fiction” is what the body’s head keeps asking and without satisfaction when it is our heart and soul that calls and lives it as faith.
The words from the song, “The Fruits of This Creation” say it best for this holy day: “For the wonders that astound us, For the truths that will confound us, Most of all, that love has found us, Thanks be to God.”
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. In this never ending opera we call the Catholic Church…she doesn’t die at the end.