Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Way of Christmas and The Way of Jesus (2)

I'm continuing to reflect on the way in which Jesus came/comes providing a way for us to live.

Two more thoughts:

1) Jesus came as an infant, the most vulnerable expression of our humanity (Philippians 2). One thing this means is an embracing of childlikeness that is at the center of the Kingdom of God.

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:4 ESV)

"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." (Mark 10:15 ESV)

One of the ways Jesus taught us to become like children was to become one himself. It teaches us to watch and learn how children live in a world of wonder, humility and unabashed dependence (not overlooking the sinful corruption of these things in all children and adults).

Chesterton reminds us,
"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we." (Orthodoxy, ch. 4)

2) The second thing about "this way" of Jesus is a celebration of process - By stepping into human life as a baby, Jesus entered into (and redeemed) the fullness of human experience, the processes involved in becoming a child, toddler, adolescent and adult. There are no "fast tracks" or instant magical solutions with this God-man. He entered into the waiting, participation, joys and frustrations involved in processes like puberty, learning a language, learning to walk, learning a trade, etc. This give us great hope that Jesus understands and enters into all our daily processes that are involved in our humanity, many of which are mundane and "insignificant."

The "Christmas way" of Jesus teaches us to receive him afresh as a child, with wonder, delight and ruthless trust. It also calls us to His presence in the daily processes that are wrapped up in each of us "being human" throughout the year, not just at Christmastime.

No comments: