In his spiritual autobiography C.S. Lewis describes his conversion from atheism to theism, and later to Christianity. In a conversation with an atheist colleague at Oxford University, Lewis was profoundly impacted by his friend’s candor. The professor remarked casually that the gospel narratives found in the Christian Bible are surprisingly reliable historical accounts. In reflecting on the myriad of stories regarding a resurrected god in mythology, Lewis’ friend commented, “Rum thing, it really must have happened once.”
Lewis was later convinced that it did happen – once. He was convinced that behind all of the myths that there was a fundamental reality of a Creator God who had sent his Son to die as an atoning sacrifice for humanity’s sin. He was convinced that there really was a God who died and rose again. For Lewis it was a transformational moment that provided an explanation for the phenomenon of both Christmas and Easter.
Maybe this year you will consider the event that split our calendar into B.C. and A.D.
Maybe even as you say the words Merry Christmas to loved ones, you might consider if there actually is a historical basis to your holiday greeting.
Maybe when you drive past a nativity set you might just find yourself thinking, “Rum thing, it really must have happened once.”