The Whole Bible In 60 People
I'm Ed The Protestant. In the fall of 2021 Greg Smith (creator of Considering Catholicism) invited me to not only consider the Catholic faith, but to record our (already ongoing) conversations for his podcast. If you're a Protestant considering Catholicism, I invite you to listen and consider.
A while back I went to a prayer service at a funeral home. We went to support our friend Jen, whose grandmother passed away at 98. I didn’t know many people there, least of all her grandmother, so as the service went on I had a little time to sit and think. In fact, I didn’t really have much else to do. It was a Catholic service, so for me at the time, it was strange and confusing. The priest leading the service prayed through the Rosary, which I didn't understand at all.
My mind wandered. I saw woman a couple of rows in front of us with an infant in her arms, and I thought, “There’s nearly a hundred years between those two souls, between that infant and Jen's grandma.”
A hundred years.
So, if Jen’s grandma was an infant at someone’s funeral way back when, that would take us back to the early 20th century. Back to when THAT person was born would get us to the early 1800's. Eighteen more people would get us back to the time of Christ.
Twenty people total. We could get that many people in my living room. It makes those twenty centuries somehow seem not very long at all. Twenty people who lived a hundred years, and that’s all.
And all the way back to the earliest biblical accounts? Sixty people. Six thousand years. All of the Bible's recorded history. That’s about how many of us sat at the prayer service that night. You could get sixty people on a bus.
It was a lot to think about, so I bailed on the heavy thinking. It was really a nice little prayer service. I walked out thinking, 'You know, those Catholics, even if they do nothing else right, they really drill the basics into their people.' Oh, and in the room where we sat there are 480 ceiling tiles. Twenty the short way, twenty-four the long way.