This time of year, life is like the last big down hill of a roller coaster ride as we speed recklessly towards the day. But this year, It's my prayer that we would take time to pause, to sit, and to think deeply about life. To breathe in deeply the relationship between Jesus, creation and humanity. Don't let it be a fleeting thought, like a gust of wind, here for a second and then gone. Keep breathing it in, until it rests in that place where the psalmist says, " deep calls to deep."
Jesus was around long before his embryonic human presence would form in the womb of an unwed marginalized young woman. And then birthed into humanity on that starry night in the filth and stench of a stable. We seem so easily caught up in the nostalgia of the Christmas scene...
Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay
It's as if the scene has lulled us to sleep. We have forgotten the awesome nature of this Jesus. Whose name should leave us breathless. Where we are left silent, mouths open in awe, lost for words. Even with the limits of our imagination we come to an edge where we are left reaching, but never touch. He is the Word, through which all creation came in to being, from atoms to galaxies.
This structure of complexity, of infinite power and wisdom, of such unity that none can exist separately...it is the origin of all existence, likely beyond the physicists imagination of a pre-Big Bang theory. It is here God, the creator; the Son, the Word; and Spirit, the Power existed as something infinitely beyond human imagination, and unseen. Yet, infinitely immense as to fill everything from beginning to end.
Into a dark murky void of nothingness the Creator thought, and the Word spoke, and like wind the power moved, there was light...creation began.
In the opening of John's Gospel the writer says. " In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him." And, that the Word, Jesus made his dwelling among us.
This is Christmas, the Word becoming flesh, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah...Emmanuel, God with us. And out of this comes the redemptive imagination of God, the Word comes speaking, and revealing a new creation. In Jesus, the Kingdom would be near, that the Kingdom would be among us.
This new creation comes through reconciliation of Jesus...
15-18We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
18-20He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. ( From Colossians 1, Eugene Peterson's, The Message )
However we see this reconciliation happening we merely scratch the surface of the radical scandalous redemptive imagination of Jesus. To make this reconciliation solely a personal event is to make creation all about us, a creation just for us, and a creation outside of us. We are woven into the very fabric of creation. It is the very fabric, every strand and fiber, seen and unseen that Christ has come to redeem, restore to reconcile to himself. To restore the original relationship with "all" creation.
Against the backdrop of all that is going on here on planet earth, I pause this Christmas, sit, reflect and breathe in deeply not an image of a baby...but of a cosmic Christ. More than ever, we are at time when the fragility of life stares us in the face. In a sense we are no more further along in this human journey than when we decided in the garden that we would eat from the tree of knowledge and become our own gods. That we could control our own destiny, create our own eternal life. Thousands of years later our own eternity has become our delusion. Our own wisdom, knowledge and technology can not save us. Humanity stands on a road in which we see unavoidably, has a dead end. We stand in a place where we have exhausted every effort to save ourselves. With all money spent, all wisdom spent...we are only left to hope.
And there is only one hope, and that is the truth, the way and the life of a Cosmic Christ. There is a way forward, and it is the way of Jesus. He came, pitched his tent in our neighborhood. He showed us, and lived the life of what it is to be truly human. He showed us life consists of an intimate relationship with God, creation and humanity. This relationship must be cultivated, nurtured, that when it is lived to the fullest we find wisdom, life...and a true revelation of the Kingdom.
So this Christmas let the Cosmic Christ capture your imagination. Let the Cosmic Christ reign in our life. Don't just slot him into some small vacant place in your life. Center your life in everything that He and His Kingdom are about. Learn to give, learn to sacrifice...to live with less. Learn to embrace all of humanity, not the colors and languages you like. Learn to care, to rekindle the covenant that the creator gave us in the garden...that we would be good stewards of all of it. There is Hope this Christmas, in the reality and totality of a Cosmic Christ.
I close from these words of a dear friend that I've come to know over the past few months. A friendship in which we both search for the truth of the Kingdom, and these words come from seeing the Kingdom unfold on Victoria's inner city streets...
Peace on Earth isn't impossible. It has already started with you and me.
If you have seen the light in the eyes of one of our family when they have been blessed with a cup of hot chocolate, a treat, or a piece of warm clothing, you have seen a glimpse of Peace on Earth.
If you have noticed the gentleness (usually!) that this rough and ready crew exhibit towards each other when we are around, you have seen a little bit of Peace on Earth.
If you have been able to give (and receive) a hug from one of the 'least of these', you know that you have planted some seeds of Peace on Earth.
Whatever your theology might be, you have to recognize that doing what we do helps bring about the Peace on Earth that the angels sang about.
Merry Christmas...to ALL.