Taking the Christmas story seriously, but not literally.


Susan Strouse, a blogger who is the pastor of a small, progressive Lutheran church in San Francisco, writes about her personal odyssey in learning to take the Christmas story seriously, but not literally. Her entry begins:

About ten years ago, at a December gathering of a women’s clergy support group, someone brought a beautiful Nativity story book. As we passed it around, I found myself growing more and more uncomfortable. Finally I dared to say the unthinkable: “But I don’t believe that this ever really happened.”

They all laughed and said, “Well, neither do we. It’s a story; it’s not literal history.”

She wonders how many people, not just clergy, but those in the pews, also feel the same way. I like this comment:

I had the wonderful experience of an 80-something woman in my previous congregation, after reading Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong, exclaiming to me, “I wish I’d read this 70 years ago!”