My friend Jerry and I have lived together under the same roof for over a decade now, and one morning we...
Oops! Hold it! Wait just a minute please; let me re-phrase that sentence before eyebrows are raised and minds sink into that space just beneath the curb.
Okay, so Jerry and I ARE friends, and we DO live together under the same roof, but it's on different floors and in separate apartments in a highrise apartment building for Senior Citizens.
Now that I've cleared THAT up, let me get back to what I was saying before my faux pas. Jerry and I were both on our way out when we bumped into each other at the front door, so we stopped to chat.
"I hope you didn't get a wink of sleep last night, Jerry Winslow!" was my morning greeting. "Beating me three games in a row last night wasn't exactly my idea of being a gentleman and a good sport."
"Sorry to disappoint you, Schnapps, but I slept like a log;" he replied with his usual infectious laugh, "but, I'll tell you what, my friend; tonight we'll switch to Scrabble instead of gin, and you can even the score. How's that?"
"Hey, get a load of that! Look across the street, Schnapps. When was the last time you saw that many cars in a Church Parking Lot?"
"Where have you been, Jer, living in a cave? In case you didn't know it, today's Easter Sunday."
Jerry feigned a look of surprise, "Oh Really? That figures! See those two guys getting out of that blue sedan? Tell me what they're carrying."
Shielding my eyes from the sun with one hand, I watched two young men get out of a car and walk towards the church.
"Nothing, that I can see, maybe some car keys or..."
"No," Jerry interrupted, " I'm talking about what they've got tucked under their arms."
"Oh, you mean their Bibles?"
"Bingo! The Christian's number one Textbook of authority on what is right and wrong, Right?"
"Well, yes," I mumbled, wondering where this was going.
"Schnapps, I'm gonna solve a Mystery for you today. You've been wondering for nigh unto ten years why I'm a skeptic, or in my own words - an agnostic. But you're always too polite to ask...so today I'm gonna spell it out for you in black and white."
"That's okay, Jer, you don't have..."
"But I want to," he interrupted again. "That Bible they carry under their arm twice a year on Christmas and Easter, is the very cornerstone of their Christian faith, and yet they haven't got a clue as to what's in it."
I was awestruck by this sudden outburst of emotion, which was so unlike him. All the years we had known each other, we had cautiously side-stepped this "No No" subject, as we were polar opposites when it came to religion; I a Christian and he a cynical skeptic.
"First of all," he continued, "there are umpteen hundred different Christian denominations...all reading the same Bible; but all putting their own personal spin on it; or otherwise, God forbid, they just might become ONE big happy family instead of umpteen separate offshoots, right?"
I'm standing there listening to this stranger, who just a minute ago was my old friend and pal Jerry. I couldn't believe my ears!
"One church believes in baptism, another believes in sprinkling; one believes in a sneaky rapture, and another believes that every eye will see Him; one believes in This, and another believes in That.. Mind you, now! They're All reading from the very SAME book! AND, Do you realize that TODAY millions of Christians all over the world dressed up in their best bib and tucker and went to church to worship God...But they were a day late and a dollar short, because He wasn't there."
"You're wrong, Jerry," He's always there!"
"Sorry my friend, God's Rest Day was yesterday, not today. If they'd read that little black book under their arm, they'd know that! God's Holy rest day was yesterday! Even Jesus, His son, rested in the tomb all that day, because it was His Father's Sabbath. It seems in the world today they've forgotten to 'Remember' HIS Rest Day, and instead made their OWN Man-Made day of rest.
"Don't you see, if Christians really believed in the Bible, as they say they do - they'd live by it. I'm no genius, Schnapps, but neither am I a fool. If something doesn't make sense to me, I won't buy it; I don't believe it, and I can't accept it. Does that make any kind of sense to you?
"Now that I've blown off steam, said my piece, and laid my views on the table, I promise never to bring up the subject again. Okay? Still friends?"
I didn't answer him, instead I smiled and feigned a punch to his jaw, which he automatically blocked, and suddenly we were cracking up with laughter.
"Can't you just see the Headlines on the 5 O'Clock News? SENIOR CITIZENS SLUG IT OUT IN PARKING LOT ON EASTER SUNDAY!"
Still laughing, we parted ways and started walking in opposite directions, when suddenly Jerry turned and yelled, "Hey, where's your Easter Bonnet?"
Smiling, I turned around and waved, "Oh that! I wore it to church yesterday - don't forget, Jerry, I've read the Book!"
True Story: But what is so amazing and shocking is that sometimes truth comes out from some very strange sources...this time from the mouth of an agnostic.
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