My wife decides to try something new: homemade Chinese spring rolls. We have Chinese dinnerware that I bought in Hong Kong. We have authentic Chinese ingredients from a market that features the exotic. With Chinese candles on the table, we sit down to picture-perfect spring rolls, two Chinese sauces and lichee black tea from the People's Republic of China.
Is this real Chinese? Hardly. I'd be foolish to think that three weeks in Hong Kong gave me anything deeper than a tourist's insight into a complex reality. I know enough to set the table correctly, but our meal in North Carolina is far from the real thing.
So, too, with John the Baptist, whose birth and ministry was the main focus of the four evangelists as they began their Gospels.
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