Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cross and Cradle

This morning during daily prayer we sang "Were You There?"

At first I thought it was an odd choice for Advent, as we long for Christmas and the joy of Christ coming into the world.

But as we kept singing, I kept thinking about why we would sing this now, when we usually sing it in Lent.

And then it hit me.  Because while Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, and Advent is a time where we long for God to break into the world in a bold and exciting way once more, we cannot remember what happened when Jesus Christ got here and was born.

I mean, after all the cute baby stuff.

When Jesus started to grow up, he began to preach a message of the Kingdom of God at hand here and now.

He began to heal the sick.  He cast out demons.  He taught grace and forgiveness.  He opposed religiosity and hypocrisy.  He opposed the accumulation of wealth and power.  He talked to women, to Gentiles, and said the good news of God was for them too!

And what was the world's response to this child who was born in a manger and looked really cute for about 5 min before the reality of human flesh sunk in?

The world killed him.

Not that death stopped Jesus or could have stopped God, but for humanity, killing someone is the ultimate rejection of them and what they have to offer.

So, even though death was not the end for Jesus' message and God's plan for our lives.  Let's remember that as we get ready for Christmas.  As we cry Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.

We might not be so eager to actually hear what grown up Baby Jesus has to say to us about the state of the world.