As a person with theological training, I am sometimes asked out of the blue questions about God, Jesus, church, the meaning of life, and other “little things.” Sometimes the questions come from friends whose children have asked one of those difficult questions and they decide to “ask Beth” such as: “Is God a boy or a girl?” When I was at United Ministries, I received a question about the Ark of the Covenant from an unknown caller. At a gathering, someone asked me if heaven was on eastern standard time. Family members have asked questions while we were in the car, and there was no way to escape.
I recently received questions by text. Since they are pertinent to the season, I thought I’d share them with you.
“Was JC [Jesus Christ] the son of a carpenter or a stepson of a carpenter?”
I texted back that I thought this was a great question and wanted to know why the person was asking.
“Heated discussion with idiots at work.”
Knowing that my answer would be extended, I called the questioner and begin my explanation. I was told that this was not a discussion question, only A or B. “So what’s the answer?”
I said that Jesus was Joseph’s son. I explained that Jesus was born into a human family, Joseph was his human father, and taught his son the family trade.
The questioner scored a point with work associates.
In a few minutes, my phone pinged again.
“What birthday is JC celebrating this year?”
This time I immediately picked up the phone. I replied that Jesus was at the beginning of the world and so he was as old as creation. My “good answer” was called out, and then I was asked, “No, they want to know his human age. What birthday is this?”
“Most scholars believe that Jesus was born about 4 B.C (now known as 4 BCE). So, add 4 to 2018 and you have your answer.”
“But wasn’t 0 a year, too?”
“I guess. Add 5.”
“OK, so somewhere between 2020 and 2025. Thanks. Bye.”
Who knows if I planted any seeds of faith or not. I may have just settled an office bet!!!