This blog is on holiday, from 17 December 2019 to around 21 January 2020.
UPDATE 3: Are you, like me, a bit frustrated with some “Christmas” comments floating around social media (e.g., along “God became one of us to share our pain” lines)? In 2019, some 2000+ years on from the historical moment of the Incarnation, do we not need a theology of the Body of Christ conjoined with proclamation of the Incarnation as beneficial for humankind? That is, does God share our pain through the humanity of Christ via the local presence of the body of Christ, that is, via you and me as “the Body of Christ”? In turn, does not this mean that we are offering mere sentiment when we focus on “God became one of us to share our pain” without ourselves sharing and bearing the pain of those we share the message of the Incarnation with?
UPDATE 2: Thanks Christchurch Press for publishing https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/118410316/a-way-of-living-marked-by-peace-justice-joy-and-generous-love on Christmas Eve.
UPDATE 1: This YouTube Video has not gone viral! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bct9G6CPwbc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1qqp8v498YAnvXYNO9tF9WaueM7wxoTQXxBjS3XUe25b4t5pgD8gFgcKQ
TOWARDS CHRISTMAS 2019 ...An Incarnation Reflection
Over the past few months I have found myself reflecting on the nature of God - on, if you like, God's Godness.
Such reflection is prompted by a whole bunch of things we say (or sing) as Christians which seems to anthropomorphize God - to make God somewhat in our image - a bigger and better version of ourselves, albeit with a bit more mystery ... I mean, we would answer everyone's prayers, right? But God doesn't always do that, but being much wiser than we are, no doubt has a good reason for not doing so.
So, I have been thinking about how we really need a shift in our "theology" - our understanding of God - so that we stop boxing God into dimensions we can grasp, cease over-personalizing God (e.g. making him out to be a kind of Celestial Bestie), and put an end to a breezy familiarity with the God who is not only bigger than the universe but beyond it.
(A lot of theology starts with that word, doesn't it?! The Old Testament ... but ... the New Testament. You deserve to die for your sins ... but Jesus saves ...).
But Christmas. But the Incarnation. But the Word became flesh. But Emmanuel: God with us.
Also a great theological word!
Dangerous though it is to anthropomorphize God, isn't it more dangerous to understand God apart from Jesus Christ?
If we meet God in Jesus Christ, then we meet one who was intimate in friendship, who personally and directly responded to requests for healing and deliverance, who was an anthropomorphism of the Divine.
The joy of Christmas is that the Impersonal God is revealed as, in fact, the Personal God.