Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas in a Nutshell

The Word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of His great love for mankind, became what we are in order to make us what He is Himself.

~Bernard of Clairvaux

I like that whole meeting us on our level idea. But to break open that nutshell a little more:

We are: weak and small and finite.

The Word of God is: Powerful, Everywhere, Infinite

God becoming human is like trying to shove a huge square into a tiny circle.

But then we have Jesus, who while human is still God. The Christian Paradox.

So if God in the person of Jesus becomes: weak, small and finite.
Does that mean we become powerful, everywhere, infinite?

I don't know about picking up these divine elements since we are still just flesh, but I think we need to look more at the humanity of Jesus to see what God wants us to become...

Broken servants.
Loving to all and especially our enemies.
Caring for the weak, the poor, the lost.
Putting ones self last.
So confident in God's love that we don't need any other identity.
Realizing that weakness is actually strength.
Giving thanks to God for everything at every moment.
Seeing the image of God in every person and God's work in the world.
Undoing injustice and heartless theology.
Building community rather than putting up walls.

These can only happen when I let go of my need to control my life and let God work in me. When I can open my eyes outward and look for what God is doing in the world instead of focusing on myself.

Sure, purity and righteousness and holiness are all extremely important, but to think we have to achieve that by our own will is a dangerous or futile notion. We can't strive to be God...but we can strive to be like Jesus, and maybe in our seeking and striving to serve (and resting and surrender and earnest prayer), God will transform those parts of us as well.

Christmas is when we no longer have to strive so much, but rest in wonder at God's love.

We gather to remind each other of this and to contemplate and act on this Great Love we've been shown.

And together, we start to look a lot like Jesus.

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