We are entering into a sacred four weeks together that ideally prepare us for the deeper mystery of Christmas, when the Great Creator of the universe was manifested in the form of a human child. But isn’t every child a manifestation of the Great Creator, one might ask? Biblically speaking, every child is made in the image of God, yes, but the manifestation of the Creator that was Jesus Christ was an utterly unique moment in the history of the world. Otherwise more of us would be walking on water, multiplying bread, raising the dead and casting out demons. Fewer of us would be violent of heart and hand toward those we dislike. If all were a Christ-expression of the Great Creator, more of us would prefer self-sacrifice for the sake of the other rather than self-preservation at their expense. Fewer of us would be willing to operate within systems of injustice and oppression in our world and more would be blowing whistles. If we were all manifestations of Christ, we would do a whole lot more trusting in God and loving each other and whole lot less taking sides, fearing the worst, and multiplying the hurt.
No, there was only one infant Immanuel (meaning “God with us”) and this was the Jew named Jesus, who was born in the little town of Bethlehem and died on the dark ridge of Golgotha, physically vulnerable to the powers of this world and yet spiritually far superior to them. The greatest of the worldly powers in Jesus’ time dried up and blew away long ago in the sands of history while his presence even now, 2000 years later, is quite literally larger than life.
This large life of Christ draws our lives up into his so that we too can become Immanuel for the sake of this world even though we weren’t born as such. May Advent this year, in however small or significant a way, prepare us further for this great call.
Yours in Christ,