Monday, March 1, 2010

Because You Don’t Have to be a Young Earth Creationist to Believe in Salvation History

There’s a wonderful settling-in process that occurs when you convert to the Catholic Church. For example, two years ago, at my first Easter Vigil I sat in the dark, literally and figuratively, wondering what all those long readings were for. Last year, I had a better idea that they were about Salvation History, and I was one of the readers. This year, my daughter will be received into the Catholic Church in North Carolina, and I will be a listener again.

While I will dearly miss singing my first Gloria in seven weeks alongside my friends in choir, I’m sure I will sing with gusto when the lights come on at the Newman Center in Chapel Hill, maybe with tears. And I will listen even closer to the readings.

All of this came into focus for me this morning as I read the Office and the prescribed scripture reading for today—the single most spectacular scene ever filmed, the parting of the Red Sea!

I’m not sure whether Cecil and Charlton did God a favor with their great film. As EPG has said, and I paraphrase, there’s nothing that looks hokier than something that was contemporary 20 years ago. “The Ten Commandments’’ was made over 50 years ago, and shows it. But I thought I’d lighten up this post with that trailer.

Salvation History really is “the greatest adventure story ever hurled from any book.” And each year it becomes truer for me. You don’t have to believe that the Earth was made in literally seven days, or that the Earth is thousands of years old, not millions, as the Young Earthers do.

You have to believe two things only: God created the Earth. God sent Jesus Christ to save us. That’s Salvation History in a nutshell. Though you have to admit, that’s a great beard on Charlton Heston.