Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Way of Christmas and The Way of Jesus

In a stellar essay entitled, "The Shipwrecked at the Stable" in his book Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, Brennan Manning clarifies our focus for the Christmas season:

"God entered our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need. On a wintry night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to Him.
. . . The Bethlehem mystery will ever be a scandal to aspiring disciples who seek a triumphant Savior and a prosperity Gospel. The infant Jesus was born in unimpressive circumstances, no one can say exactly where. His parents were of no social significance whatsoever, and His chosen welcoming committee were all turkeys, losers, and dirt-poor shepherds. But in this weakness and poverty the shipwrecked at the stable would come to know the love of God." (175-6)

The way in which Jesus came presents to us a way for us to live. As disciples, we need to pay attention not only to what Jesus said and what Jesus did but the way in which he came. If Jesus comes to us in brokenness and need, how can we come to him any other way than in brokenness and need? Are you shipwrecked at the stable? Do you kneel in wonder? Or do you rush by, gripping your packages and trusted propositions?

The infant Jesus calls us to a life of brokenness and need, away from power brokers into the obscurity of an unknown cave. This is what it means to be human, and God had to show it to us.

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