The Bible should be shocking. The charge given by Jesus that ends Matthew should make my head spin. A man who was dead is alive and setting up meetings. There have always been those of two minds... the doubters. Jesus claims the authority of God, thus revealing his true nature. And those 11 folk who showed up to worship and/or doubt, led to the Reverend John Touchberry becoming a disciple, and thus turning me into a disciple.
We are a varied group that meet on Mondays to speak about our journey.... what is the punch line to this joke... 3 ex-catholics, 2 life time Episcopalians, a protestant mutt, and an ex- Lutheran meet to discuss how they were made into Christians...
I remember a few things from my youth at church (keep in mind I do not have one memory of elementary school).... I loved the end of the worship service. As we stood after having sung the last hymn, the organist would play through one more time. In the silence of the music I would make up lyrics in my head. I remember thinking about becoming a minister, but by the time I was to be confirmed, I was going through the motions. It was a fake confirmation. I was on my way out of church, away from belief, beyond doubts. 20 years or so pass.
Then a few weeks after moving to Lansdale we walked into a UCC church, and the man mentioned above caught my spirit on fire. Who would think that a ex-Southern Baptist minister would do that to the likes of me? It wasn't what I expected. I don't know what I expected.
What those early years as a Lutheran did was to "make" a Christian out of me. It seems right to me that God loves all humans and sees no perfect path to take on a journey. If born to folk of another faith, I would not have been made a Christian. I still may have been made a Christian later in life.
Today in Biology class I started with all of life and kept drawing branches till humans were standing alone on the evolutionary tree. I try to imagine a tree going back in time from those disciples who made a Christian out of me--- my parents, ministers, friends, authors strangers. It is as mind blowing as the tree that would take humans back to the bacteria we are most related to on that tree of life. In the case of my disciples they would take many a different journey, but it would lead to one of those 11 who were charged by Jesus, then to Jesus.
Today in geology I wrote "strains credulity" on the board. We had just finished speaking about the first 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 of a second of the universe. densities and temperatures beyond imagination, unification of matter and energy, expansion rates beyond compare.
Even one who believes too easily would have doubts.