Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Since It's Christmas And All

My Christmas present to you, dear reader: not one, not two, not three, but three quotes from Karl Barth, weaved together here as an Incarnational Medley, and a very special Christmas reflection. Probably best to open with the reflection.

Last night I decided to read a passage in Luke as my Christmas text. It is a text about the birth of Jesus, a moment to which the Scriptures testify, though in veiled form. Some people came to visit him, bringing along some gifts fitting for the occasion. As they came to the place where he was supposed to be laid in swaddling cloth, helpless and humbled,  there were some heavenly creatures hanging around, bearing good news. The good news? "He is not here." Surprise, confusion. He was supposed to be here. He belonged here. This was the place in which he must be sought. The glorious creatures answered the confusion with a question: "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" The cloth was there all right, but there was no body.

At the beginning, few expected a messiah to be born into a poor family in a stable. At the end, nobody expected a failed messiah to be anywhere but in a tomb. Jesus was never where he was expected to be. But here, on the first day of the week, at dawn, he was where he said he would be. He was no longer in the tomb, no longer wrapped in swaddling cloth. He was risen, the firstborn from the dead, burning hearts as he unveiled the Scriptures, opening eyes in the eucharist, making peace through the blood of the cross, and gracing the old world with the presence and power of the new.

The Word became flesh. And the flesh became resurrected.

God for his part is God in his unity with this creature, this human being, in his human and creaturely nature – and this without ceasing to be God, without any alteration or diminution of his divine nature....We must be able to show that God is honoured and not dishonoured by this confession.
God does not have to dishonour himself when he goes into the far country, and conceals his glory. For he is truly honoured in this concealment. This concealment, and therefore his condescension as such, is the image and reflection in which we see him as he is. His glory is the freedom of the love which he exercises and reveals in all this. 

How should God’s divinity exclude his humanity? For it is God’s freedom for love, and therefore his freedom to be not only in the heights but also in the depths, not only great but also small, not only in and for himself but also to be with another who is different form himself, to give himself for this other, since there is room enough for it for community with humanity.

No comments:

Post a Comment