Advent Musings

This year the thought that continues to resonate through my Christmas theological thinking is, “No one does this!” No one chooses humiliation over exaltation, no one lowers themselves to status or stature below what they are due. No one chooses humility, humbleness, and humanity when offered recognition, power, and deity. No human enjoys limitations that induce suffering. No one, except the One- God, who did choose to humbly, transformatively, and subjectively come. God, who made Godself nothing, coming in the shape and with the status of a created, limited,  and lowly human, did what no one else could or would choose to do. (I don’t meant to speak in absolutes- there are people who are humble, who put others about self and have lived lives lowering themselves to elevate and help others, and there are moments when we might, even ourselves, choose to live in humility or even to suffer for the sake of something bigger than ourselves.) Mostly, I’m just amazed that a limitless, powerful, and complete God would choose the confines and the consciousness of humanity and come as a baby.

To think of God’s intent and ability to make the choice to come in time, to a placeas a person, is amazing to me anew this Advent. Then, on the other hand, I’m not surprised at all. God is ultimate relationship. God is made up of three persons in perfect, life-thriving community. God created human beings out of this inner-Godhead relationship for realtionship with God and with each other.

God was not content to sit back and miss relating intimately and immediately with human beings, so God came. God came to help us know, understand, and see God’s intentions for life. God sent Jesus to live life as God created life to be. Jesus came as God’s saving and glorifying work– inaugurating the regin and rule of God in our world.

Philip Yancey, in his excellent book, The Jesus I Never Knew, writes about the communication block between goldfish and owners. From the fish perspective, the large, looming human above the bowl seems incomprehensibly threatening- a shape and size so outside of their own kind, they can’t think of anything but running under the nearest ceramic die-cast of a sunken ship. We too, shirk and shrink, hide and hunker down, fear or flee from God, our caring, loving, world-creating and sustaining, “owner”.  The only way to communicate love and care to a goldfish, is to enter the bowl, submerge oneself into the waters, and take on the shape and self of a goldfish- becoming fully-fish in order to communicate care, love, ideas. God and goldfish… God submerged, took shape, and gave Self- becoming like us so that we might understand Love and the way the world is supposed to work.

God gave at Christmas; I have lists of what I want to get. God humbled and humiliated Godself- to the extent that all other deity would have scoffed and scorned even the idea of lowering oneself to the level of one’s worshipers– and I’m thinking about highlights- blonder hair and magical moments of the season. God chose little and less and lowly and life that would lead to death. I choose chocolate and cheer, shopping, movies, traditions, parties, presents and people. I give and I get, take in and thank.

Some how, Christmas centers us on the sacred, the Christological inauguration- God Incarnate- fully Divine and fully human. At the same time Christmas scatters and stresses us out.

Christmas is Christ among us, God with Us. Christmas chaos is perhaps rooted, however distorted, in relational connection and sacrificial giving. Cheer and church, gathering and giving, traveling and toasting, family and fun, a rest and a reminder- Christmas is time to engage in:

1. Awe of the One who did what no one does

2. Repentance of our selfishness in light of God’s self-giving, and

3. Relationship with what is real- love and life the way God designed and gave it.

Merry Christmas to you.  I’m off to host a party, highlight my hair, give blood (oh, a bit of self-sacrifice and suffering after all!), travel to Colorado, ski and cook, and probably lose my cool- I can only hope in all of it, I remember God’s giving and what I’m getting- Jesus, all around, with, above, behind, about and holding me. Joy, peace, love, hope and lots of time with dear friends and my precious family.One year old Christmas Wonder

Cranberry Pudding for Christmas Being tonight

Cranberry Pudding for Christmas Being tonight


E and A at Crown Center

E and A at Crown Center


Our Corpus Group Christmas Brunch

Our Corpus Group Christmas Brunch

Alleluia and Amen.

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