A former parishioner loaned me his copy of The Da Vinci Code about three years ago; I got about thirty pages into it was bored yet irritated with it and returned it. This is disclose I never finished the book and don’t intend to see the film. It will pass soon enough. (Anyone still talking, preaching about The Passion of the Christ?)
There must have been something in the water with 70s era school librarians because I got my fill of esoterica and conspiracy theory pretty early. Or didn’t every school library have books on Nasca lines, ancient astronauts, the tarot and candle magic? (And survivalism. I was a huge buff for the technology of survivalism. But my prepubescent skills of making a Geiger counter out of a coffee can and aluminum foil morphed into a keen interest in alternative energy sources, which continues today.) That and my unchurched upbringing means that I ran across all kinds of unorthodox ideas of Jesus’ origins pretty early.
So Jesus and Mary were married and had kids: big deal. How is that radical, except given the persons involved? People have been doing that frequently and for quite some time. People have long wanted to make Jesus Christ in their own image, a lesson well taught in Prescott Wintersteen’s Christology in American Unitarianism, still available I think from the UUCF and for a long time an option on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee reading list. So Jesus is a “family man” — gimme a freakin’ break. Or that suggesting that he couldn’t help being otherwise would make him less human. I think there are a lot of us out there who would take grave exception to that.
I know the historic Creeds are hard for some to swallow, but one of the reasons I appreciate them and grew to accept them is precisely that they put Jesus Christ is a “neutral” and mutually remote position from the common lot of humanity, giving us
- the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
- God from God, light from light, true God from true God,
- begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
- For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
- by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
- For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
- he suffered, died and was buried.
- On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
- he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
- and his kingdom will have no end. (Nicene Creed, ICEL version)
- Funny thing about the that: his sex is not essential. And not a royal few are heirs by blood, but all by faith.