I have been gifted the unique opportunity to work with a group of youth at church. It has been a few years since I have done this and I had forgotten how much I learn from these teens.
This year, as we journeyed through Lent and discussed the Easter Story, I was pleased to hear a young fellow, puzzled by, and questioning what happened to Jesus, wondering how it is that he rose from the dead. Not only am I warmed by the notion that he is developing his views about what he believes in, but also I am delighted that he felt comfortable enough to express his thoughts.
This young man, in the youth group is not alone in his wonderings, and many a scholarly folk have queried about the divinity as well as humanness of Jesus.
And they still do.
David McKane, part of the team at The United Church Observer magazine recently answered a question surrounding the possibility that maybe Jesus’ humanity is attractive enough, not unlike other heroes such as Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. He brings forth the thought that the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451 did. That particular ecumenical assemblage debated the personhood of Christ, and concurred that there must be more at work than just humans. “There it was made clear that Jesus must be both human and divine to provide a bridge between us and God.” And only 15 years after the crucifixion, Paul wrote, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view… we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” Nevertheless, what does all of this mean to the young man in our church youth group? Maybe very little. Although for me, I am thrilled that he is allowed to explore aloud, his beliefs, thoughts and questions surrounding all things church, and in turn he appeals to others to do so as well. Even me.
There is a simple affirmation, in the form of a question and a thought, which is still one of the loveliest inspirations I ponder on from time to time. It is a memorable quote from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, where character Robert Langdon states, “Why does it have to be human or divine? Maybe human is divine.”