Jean Vanier reminds us of most basic, paradoxical teachings of Christianity — notions about power in humility, strength in weakness, and light in the darkness of human existence. This week, Vanier is profiled on Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett in a segment called The Wisdom of Tenderness.
Take an hour out of the busy-ness that ramps up to Christmas and listen to this truly special voice and the message he reminds us of. Vanier captures some of the truly extraordinary nature of Jesus:
Jesus was coming to change the whole order of things. And at the heart of that order was the poor, the blind, the lame, and the sick. And so these people would come rushing, all those who were marginal would come rushing to him, seeking strength, seeking compassion, seeking healing. One moment Jesus describes this vision, when he talks about a king giving a wedding feast for the son, and he sends out invitations, and all the table is beautifully laid, and all the people, the worthy citizens, they all refuse. I cannot come, I haven't time, I bought land and I must go and tend it, I bought a pair of oxen and I must work on them, my daughter is getting married and I have to be there--frequently those who are rich, who are in power, they haven't time. So the king gets angry and he sends the servants into the highways and the byways--Bring in the poor, the lame, the sick, the blind, and of course they come rushing in. So we find that in the whole vision of humanity, God is feared, God is not wanted, and on the other side, God is desperately needed.
Before anything existed, there was the Trinity, the Godhead...Father, Son and Spirit. In Genesis, the Spirit hovered around the mirky void of nothingness. The Son, the Word spoke all into existence, everything from atoms to galaxies...everything came into being. In the New Testament, the Word takes on flesh and bones and moves into the neighbourhood of humanity and comes speaking words of new creation. He comes to redeem, restore...to turn the world rightside up. Jesus is the very redemptive imagination of God.
This year, take time to think about what Christmas is really about. Lets dare to dream, to imagine and embrace what Jesus envisioned. Advent is the time to plant the seed of a new creation...of a Kingdom beyond imagination.