Friday, January 06, 2012

A Feast For Epiphany

The mind-blowing thing about the incarnation is not that Jesus looks like God.  (After all, Jesus is fully-human, and human beings are created in the image of God.)  The mind-blowing thing about the incarnation is that God looks like Jesus.  (After all, Jesus is also, uniquely, fully-God and the full revelation of God).

Jesus reveals what God is like, fully, in how he lived.  That means that the incarnation reveals to us that God, who could know everything and do anything without help, chooses to empty himself of these things; chooses to come to us, to learn with us, even to learn from us.  That the One who created you wants to know, at the very least, “what is it like being you; what is your experience of life, of the world, of time and space (of being part of something infinitely greater than you that would be infinitely diminished were you not part of it)?”

That God, who could know everything, chooses not to (and so opens himself to the delight of discovery) is, surely, what holds divine sovereignty and human free-will in creative paradox.

And if God, who is by nature omniscient, chooses not to be, then we, who are finite – whose knowledge is by nature partial and provisional – ought not to go about in the world as if we Know.  Isn’t this the temptation of human pride; that those who speak of God are, perhaps more than anyone, caught out by, subtly ensnared by?

As we carry the good news that Jesus has been revealed in the world, as rightful King over all creation, we ought to go with confidence in the good news but not with pressing, un-listening, insistence: for that is not how he came.  We are sent as
ambassadors not conquistadors.  We look for the ‘person of peace,’ who welcomes us in, who opens their life to us, who ministers to us.  We come enquiring...and from that place go proclaiming what we have seen and heard; not the other way around.  That way, rather than imparting information, we participate in transformation.  It is, by far, the riskier path; the path that does not commend itself to us.  It is the heaven-led path of Epiphany; the path that Jesus (having been shown it by the Magi) walks and bids us, “Come, follow me.”

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