From Hope to Knowing

John 1:4-5 The Message (MSG) Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing! —came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.

I was thinking about what to write today amid all that is going on in the world. There is so much. I thought maybe a seasonal theme may help me focus my thoughts. It is Advent after all. Wikipedia says “Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming.” But what is this expectant waiting all about? Is it about the Incarnation of God?

I am often struck by the idea that the Nativity of Jesus is the only incarnation of God. I believe the first revelation of who God is occurs in the creation story. In the creation story we see God as three persons working in union to create an incredible, awesome universe that is a boundless outpouring of goodness, love, and generosity.

Then, God shows us who he is in human form as revealed in Jesus. Not the god of the world who consolidates all power under his throne and lords it over his creation. He already has that power. This is a God who pours himself out for us unto crucifixion on the cross.

Richard Rohr says, “What the crucified has revealed to the world is that the real authority that “authors” people and changes the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and are refound on a new level.”

The bible never tells us when Jesus was born. Some scholars think sometime in the spring. Others think it must have been in the fall. The bible makes no mention of the date. There are stories of the church picking December 25 as a date that would assist in the conversion of the Celts who celebrated the winter solstice. I don’t know about that, but I do think it is significant that we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ in the deepest, darkest part of the year as the days are about to turn the corner toward the longer days to come.

Alexander Shia says “The deepest dark is not where Grace goes to die. It is where Grace goes to be reborn. Christmas wants us to know that in the deep dark is where Grace is born.”

Lord Jesus, be born is us today. Amen.

Mark Autterson

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