Monday, March 14, 2005

Year A, Christmas 1

In the name of the God the Creator, and Jesus the Liberator, and the Holy Spirit the Sustainer. AMEN.

“And the word became flesh and lived among us.” Why?

Why did God become flesh and live among us. Jesus was God. Jesus existed before there was existence. He will exist long after this world ceases to exist. So why did Jesus humble himself to take a part in humanity. What was it that God was trying to do that required humanity as part of the answer.

If God needed to send a message he could have done it in many ways. He could have sent another prophet. After all he had sent lots in the past. He could have sent an angel. He could have sent a pillar of fire or a burning bush. There are many, many ways in which God could have been manifest to man, but why humanity. Becoming human had so many drawbacks. Hunger, thirst, pain.

But I think that the answer is in those very drawbacks. Jesus came to share our experience. Jesus came to share our hunger, our thirst, our pain. Jesus came to share the unfairness we all face in the world. And lets face it, Jesus knew about life being unfair. In Jesus we have a man who was taken to trial, found innocent, whipped, beaten and finally killed. That is right, found innocent and then sentenced to death. Talk about life not being fair.

We all face a certain amount of unfairness in our own lives. We do not get the things we want. People suffer from disease and death. Children and infants are killed. Catastrophes happen all the time. Life is unfair. And we wonder why could would allow it? Then we need to take comfort in the fact that Jesus suffered in this unfair world in ways to terrible to imagine. “The Passion of The Christ”, portraying all the unfairness to Jesus during his final days on earth was so brutal it received an R rating. Now Jesus dealt with a lot of unfairness.

And the truth of the matter is at times I’m very, very glad that God seems unfair. Imagine crying out to God and saying “be fair to me, give me what I deserve!” I’m very glad that God is unfair. I fear that I would not like the results of God giving me what I truly deserve in this life. For all the mistakes I have make. For all the people I have hurt. For all the inconsistencies in my life. Jesus being born in a manger is all about unfairness. It is all about God taking steps to NOT give us what we deserve.

This thought, though somewhat comforting still does not help me all that much when I see a child die. Or when I see a relationship broken. Or when I see nation go to war against nation, putting our best and our brightest in harms way. But it does help me to try to deal with the hurt and frustration in my own heart when I feel life is being unfair to me. Jesus got the most unfair deal I can ever imagine.

So I thank God that things are sometimes not fair. I thank God that Jesus did come among us and die unfairly, providing the means of forgiveness for our sins. I try and remember that every time we break the bread of his body. I try to remember it every time I drink his blood.

That doesn’t mean I revel in unfairness. I still struggle against it. Like the psalmist, I sometimes cry out to God complaining about it. But at times like this moment. When we are ready to share Christ’s body broken for us, I’m grateful that God shared in this unfair world.

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