I don’t know if Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Or not. I don’t know if there really was a Roman world census at that time. Or not. I don’t know if a man named Quirinius was governor of Syria at that time. Or not. I don’t know if angels sang for all to hear in the night sky or if a blazing star really shone over Jesus’ birthplace. Or not. I don’t know how much Mary really understood as she “pondered” the events in her heart.
This, I do know: There is more to this child whose birth we celebrate than meets the eye!
I do not know if he was “God” walking around on earth. Or not. I do not know if he was fully human. Or not. I do not know if each and every word recorded in the Gospel narratives are original with Jesus. Or not.
This, I do know: There is much more to Jesus life and teaching in the New Testament narrative than meets the eye.
I do not know how he healed a blind man or a leper (or ten lepers!) or breathed life into Lazarus (or to a widow’s only son) or raised a young girl from her death bed. I do not know how Jesus quieted a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee or walked on water.
This, I do know: There is much more to Jesus power and life impact than meets the eye.
I do not know which of the five theologies of atonement might be the one to which I should subscribe. Or which Easter story is the original! I do know that there is more to his life and death and resurrection than I can fully comprehend.
I do not know how or why he called such a widely diverse group of persons to be his disciples. I only know he called (and continues to call) me to follow his lead.
Slowly but clearly I am walking away from the need to know the answers to these and other questions. I am ready and willing to fully embrace mystery.
And to celebrate this one great truth: there is much more to Jesus of Nazareth than meets the eye.
And this may be what a so-called “post-modern” Christian faith is really all about.
WPA Commission on Archives and History