How We Are Loved

Christmas is behind us and half a year away, but let me talk a little about the Incarnation. The birth of Christ has much to tell us at all times of the year, and we may even be able to see its significance more clearly in the absence of tinsel, parties, and colored lights.

That Almighty God chose this way– as a bsby– to send his infinitely precious son into our world is something we take for granted, but thinking about it yields much.

In mythologies the world over, gods enter the world of men as gods.

I grant there are stories of gods disguised as human beings, even doing so to learn the perspectives of lowly humans. Odin humbled himself and sacrificed an eye for humanity. God figures put people-masks over their glorious faces but retained their godhood underneath.

Only one became a human being, fully and without safeguards. He was a zygote with human DNA, an unborn child, a newborn, a dependent baby. Jesus was not disguised as a man. At the Incarnation, Jesus became one of us.

God does not thunder from on high and send lightning when you don’t obey. He does not float in nothingness and shake his smug and passionless head at your endless failure to achieve just enough enlightenment.

No, he waits at the curve of the road so he can see it stretch far into the distance, looking for you to return home. And when he sees you limping with shame, he runs to embrace you and welcome you back, celebrating with a feast for his whole dominion.

He was not detached. He was born helpless into a very poor family, subject to a powerful state. It is important to note that he remained subject to the established worldly powers right up to and including his execution by those powers.

Though He has every justification to shrink from us, divorce us, alienate us…He comes closer to us than any other conceivable closeness. God became one of us.

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