Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
I'm back in Europe this week with a group of senior adults from the church. We're cruising down the Rhine River and enjoying visiting the towns an cities along the way.
Yesterday, we were in Cologne, Germany, the site of the largest cathedral in Germany. The cathedral's main claim to fame, however, is the golden shrine that is placed behind the high altar which is supposed to contain the bones of the three wise men who came to visit Jesus. The idea that someone might know where those bones actually are blows my mind. I know from my church history that Helena, the mother of Constantine, spent much of her life looking for relics of faith and documenting holy places in Israel. She's given credit for having located these bones.
Of course, I also read that there were so many relics of the cross sold (tiny slivers of wood), that a ship could have been built from them.
Everything is not always what is is presented to be.
I can't help but wonder why having claim to those bones matters. It's the reason this cathedral is so large, because they have this claim to the bones of the wise men. The city's crest is of three crowns, representing the three kings. Everywhere I went in the town, I was reminded that they have possession of the bones.
I asked if there had been any testing on the bones to substantiate the claims. The answer was no. They've looked at the bones, and archaeologists believe the bones are from a young adult male, a full-grown male, and an older male. Funny, I don't remember those details in the scripture.
But does it matter? What is it about us as humans that we are constantly searching for tangible proof of the things in which we place our faith? The very idea of faith is to trust in those things we cannot see, touch, or even understand. Yet, in our desire to prove our trust that God sent His Son to us as a babe, we want to hang our trust on things that have withstood time.
I can't help but wonder if we demonstrate the shallowness of our faith when we look for tangibles to prove what we believe. I think there's a reason that God didn't give us those tangibles -- even an empty tomb! -- so we focus everything we believe on Him.
How would you describe our desire for tangibles to a non-believer? Is it a sign of the weakness of our faith or the strength?