We had lost contact over the last decade, but I had been thinking about her just a few days ago. And then, in the grocery store parking lot, there she was.
The Christian bookstore was next door to a store where she worked part time. I would drop in periodically. My own context for being there created instant discussion.
Oh, did I mention that she is Wiccan?
I didn’t have a lot of experience with that particular religion, but I decided to just be myself and we got along well. See… Christians can have non-Christian friends.
So after catching up — sadly, I’d forgotten her first name — we started right back where we left off all those years ago; talking about faith. She has a lot of objections to Christianity of course, and I’ve never been afraid to tell her that I think she’s just looking for an out.
But the one she sprang on me Friday was a new one. Are you sitting down?
The changing date of Easter.
So of course the first thing I did was take the objection at face value. The date of Easter isn’t a theological problem. We remember Christ’s death and resurrection every time we have a Communion service. Catholics do this every time they attend Mass.
I then seized the opportunity to reminder her that Christianity is rooted in an historical fact, the life and death and resurrection of Jesus.
And she was willing to admit that Christmas was not the day that Jesus was born; at least probably not.
I also was willing to meet her half way when I mentioned there is a movement in Europe to standardize the dates of Good Friday and Easter.
Even then she kept coming at this date thing from different angles. “Usually it’s in April, but sometimes it’s in March;” she reminded me. Followed by, “How many times did this guy die and come back to life?” (Not sure I saw that one coming, either; nor do I get the logic.)
I simply used it as an opportunity to continue rhyming off why we can trust the Gospels’ record of Christ’s life and ministry.
And she agreed to track me down at some future date.
I hope it’s not ten years…
People will invent all types of excuses to dismiss the core tenets of the Christian faith. The problem of evil. Noah’s ark. The global flood. Talking donkeys. I have to admit that if I were writing the script, I would have left Balaam’s donkey out of the final draft.
But as excuses go, I thought the whole changing date of Easter thing was rather lame; but I think it’s an example of how people will use anything to avoid admitting the obvious: One man claimed to be equal with God, lived and taught in such a way that changed the world then and now, and kicked off a movement that shows no signs of slowing down. (Just to mention a few things.)
“…a person who denies spiritual realities will not accept the things that come through the Spirit of God; they all sound like foolishness to him. He is incapable of grasping them because they are disseminated, discerned, and valued by the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (The Voice)