There is no place for them in the inn.
After I guided my small class of 6 students through the use of a Concordance and a Bible Dictionary, these are the words I wrote on the easel. And then, I asked questions. What do we need to know? What is assumed here? What might we want to know more about?
I don't know if The Thoughtful Christian had this in mind when they encouraged subscribers to use Biblical Interpretation 101 in their congregations. But, as conversation continued, I actually said that this journey probably never happened. I said that Luke probably made it up. And the looks of relief were astonishing. I didn't refute the church member that insisted that Mary was a virgin. But, I did say that it was highly unlikely that this lady made it on a donkey that pregnant. They laughed. And then, they asked more questions. Excited questions that you ask when you just want more and more information. Excited questions that can't quite seem to be get enough information. And then, I started talking about non-canonical texts. We talked about how the canon was formed and why these choices were made. There were no blank stares. There were no furrowed brows. There were looks of relief. There were looks of delight as I reminded these church members that there are stories that we believe because of faith, not because of logic. There are stories that we continue to tell that don't make any earthly sense. But, they matter. They really matter.
And the church is still standing. I'm in shock.