“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” -Isaiah 45:22 (NRSV)
Three days ago, the sun turned from its march south toward longer light and warmer days. Summer is still many months away, but we have begun the journey. On this day we celebrate the Incarnation when God showed up as one of us. The human illusion of alienation of imagining that God was Other is transcended by the realization that in this little child, God and humanity reveal a radical union of great mystery.
We worship Jesus as God because he is God, but at the same time, we remember that he is also fully, completely human. As we watch him grow and launch into his ministry the idea is inescapable that here we see what full humanity really is, what we were always meant to be; perhaps something we already are and don’t know it. If that is the case, then the incarnation doesn’t begin and end with Jesus. As the Gospel of John says, “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (John 1:18.) In this human, God is revealed. Better yet, in this human, we come to know that God is manifest in humanity. Where we differ from Christ is not our humanity but our inhumanity, our loss of humanity, our falling beneath our calling. In Jesus we see that the fabric of existence, including our own existence, is the warp and woof of divinity beneath our inhumanity, calling us to our true selves. I write these words and I know them to be true, but I also know that I do not fully grasp their meaning. I’m overcome with awe. As Peter Mayer sings in the song, Holy Now, “…say it’s not a sacrament; I tell you that it can’t be done.”
What is saving me now is knowing that in Christ I can learn to see God everywhere, if I will but set aside for a moment who I think I am and open my eyes.
God of all peoples and all things, open our eyes to see your image in ourselves, in those around us, and that which surrounds us, that we might rightly worship your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God who enfolds us all. Amen.
-Fr. Paul Moore