At some point I picked up the idea that wiser Christians ask fewer questions. That somehow they pick up “the answers” somewhere along the way. More mature Christians could always find The Answer in the Bible, no matter how remote the question might be. And, speaking of questions, that’s one thing real Christians wouldn’t have. Or at least, I wouldn’t know it if they did.
I was talking with a young woman who had left our church a few years earlier and remembered that she had celebrated her birthday recently. “Happy Birthday!” I said, but she seemed confused. I realized I had crossed that invisible line that divides friends from mere acquaintances. Only your good friends know when your birthday is coming. So how did I know the date? There was no reason.
I’ve always approached the slaughter of the innocents as a text that demands to be preached whether it’s in the lectionary year or not. Maybe that’s my privileged life talking there—that is, my life where all my children survived childhood without a serious threat. A life where weddings and baby showers are more frequent than funerals. A life where the stability of a home and regular meals were a given.
When my mother visited my church for the first time, a woman greeted her during the passing of the peace. Realizing that she was speaking to the pastor’s mother, the woman asked, “Just how many children do you have?”
“Six,” my mom responded. Then she hastily corrected herself. “Well, five who are living.” As she turned to the next person her eyes filled with tears.
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