One day I sat down with my practically untouched Bible

Nice image up top.

Blessed Western Church Easter.

Speaking of books, one day long ago, at the beginning of a break from college, I sat down in my mom's back yard with the practically untouched Bible she'd given me years before for my catechism, and I read the four gospels for myself, really for the first time.

Answered many questions, raised many more.

I was persuaded by nothing more than those records — and have never had cause to be dissuaded since — of his historic reality, and indeed the general accuracy of what he was reported to have said and done. Miracles and all.

I'm no inerrantist. (I always say every word of the Judeo-Christian scripture may be divinely perfect, but that doesn't necessarily mean every passage means what we think it means.) However, I find the gospels all the more persuasive in that despite seeming contradictions and some general confusion of sequence (how many times did he do the mass feedings?), despite intervening centuries, and recopying glitches and translation problems known and unknown...

Jesus stands there, confounding the 'wise' while both amusing and uplifting the commoners, and readers centuries later,

replacing crippling ceremony with liberating simplicity a child can understand (good Samaritan),

forgiving his 'enemies' even as they're nailing him to the cross,

living his teachings magnificently, through all trials, to the horrifying glorious end,

concerned even to the last about others, his mother, his followers, the thief the next cross over,

and when it was finally at an end, when his mortal brain was expiring, going down reciting Psalms.

Then coming back like a Boss.

Among other immortal highlights from his saga.

You know the saying, you can't make stuff like this up? I am persuaded that nobody alive then could have made this up.

Which leaves this reader confronted with a personal call across two thousand years that I still strive to answer.

Books. They're just a bunch of words....