God in the flesh, Christ incarnate; we use these words as if we had the slightest clue what they might mean. But even when I look in a mirror, I am never fully sure of what I see. But this image of a baby, so now, yet so far away, what we might call a crisis pregnancy, in a tiny town, isolated and shared, still baffles us as it draws us in.
The incarnation is a Christmas treat – an enigma wrapped in mystery and baked in wonder.
It is every child’s wish – or even assumption – that the Divine Presence and Creator knows me and my ways before me. Yet somehow as adults we lose that naïve, almost instinctual, sense of security and find ourselves spiraling into the abyss of aloneness and abandonment. This tension, this resonance of weakening and vulnerability seems to hover over the Christmas scenes that almost smother in their familiarity. Almost.
The terms we use; virgin, swaddling clothes and manger have become soft and familiar, but only because we, in our foolishness, which we tell ourselves is wisdom, have made Christ’s birth a memento, a souvenir, that we hold onto or even use as a talisman to ward off evil.
But if we look a bit closer, this baby, this living promise of many centuries, is, as God always is, the answer we didn’t know we were looking for.
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