You Don't Have to Guess About God Anymore
I've been thinking a lot this week about the deeper meaning of Christmas. What are we celebrating when we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace? What does it really mean that God entered into history?
As Christians we know how to talk a good game about the arrival of Jesus, and how it changed everything for everyone, but how many of us really internalize the truth of what theologians call the Incarnation (God taking on human form)?
The Gospel of John declares:
"The [Eternal Creative] Word [of God] became flesh (Jesus) and made his dwelling among us. We have seen God's glory of the one and only [Son], who came from the Father, full of grace and truth... No one has ever seen God, but the one and only [Son], who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."
I don't think most of us really get what this means for us.
Think about it. What John is saying is we don't have to wonder what God is like. We don't have to while away the hours trying to figure out what God would say, or do. We don't have to guess about the kind of world God wants, or God's desires for God's children.
Jesus revealed all of that to us through his birth, life, ministry and ultimately his death, burial and resurrection. Because of Jesus we can know God more fully.
We can't know everything, however. Even Jesus had an air of mystery about him, didn't he? Once, Thomas (one of Jesus' disciples) asked him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going. So how can we know the way?"
Jesus replied in a very Jedi-like way: "I am the way, the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me." In other words, Jesus simply was saying: "Trust me. Even if you don't fully get it all. Trust me."
The poet Rumi expressed the mystery of the Incarnation beautifully when he wrote, "Christ is the population of the world, and every object as well. There is no room for hypocrisy. Why use bitter soup for healing, when sweet water is everywhere?"
I think as Christians we need to take this to heart. The answers to the ills of the world are all around us, in us and through us if we are immersed in Jesus.
In Jesus we can know God--at least as much as we can on this side of eternity. But we need to look to Jesus more closely. We need to follow Jesus more intentionally. We need to imitate Jesus with as much energy and passion as we can muster. And we need to trust that when we do, we will find ourselves fully and completely on the Way to Truth and Life.
May you experience the blessings and joy of this Christmastide. May you resolve to more fully follow Jesus and to draw closer to God as you do. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.