A Tale of Three Fathers
Months back, I was talking with my American dad about Jesus the Christ. In reality, the conversation was an episode of a years-long series which had been on hiatus for a time, mostly due to the instability in my living arrangements in the last three years. I am happy to have it start up again. We agree about 99% of the time.
This time, we were discussing His origin and had a very short difference of opinion about it. Dad has been a Christian longer than I have, is a lay pastor, and, therefore, reads the Bible daily. For some reason, however, he briefly thought that God had created Jesus, while I pointed out that God had created the angels and us, but that Jesus’ was God’s son and, therefore, not fashioned from the dust like Adam, nor “manufactured” like the angels. (I use that word because I don’t how God made the angels.)
I said that God begat Jesus. In response, Dad asked me to show him where it says this. Bemused, I did a quick search using my phone. When the results popped, I almost slapped myself because the first one was so obvious.
For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16
Here’s something we all are prone to doing when perusing a text with which we are very familiar: forgetting what certain words and concepts mean, and, therefrom, the implications. I do it; my dad does it; we all do it. It’s part of our human fallibility.
Switching to my Kenyan father, he is an atheist. (I look forward to the day when my fathers meet each other.) Roughly once a year, Father, a journalist, writes a column declaring such and outlining a few of the things he finds inconsistent in Christianity. It turns out that one of the problems he has is with the idea of God procreating. Father tends to look at it from the way we procreate and, therefore, tosses out the idea.
One of the most difficult things to do is to talk to an atheist about faith – the notion that some things can be assumed to be true without evidence that they are. Following onto that is the difficulty of talking with them about an existing reality which has different rules than the one we all see and that our perception is (mostly) limited to the latter.
We don’t know how God begat Jesus, but we Christians take it on faith that it’s true. And we also accept that there are some things about God and about that other existing reality that we are not able to understand, at least not while we are in this reality – unless God chooses to reveal them to us.
I am reminded that,
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9
And I’m content to let our Father reveal Himself whenever and to whomever He wants.
Oh, yeah … Merry Christmas.
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