The entire message of Christianity — and what makes it distinct from other major world religions — is that its foundation is not merely the words of a book but the Word made flesh.
The Word who came from heaven to be just another screaming baby born into bad circumstances in a poor family.
The Word who laughed. The Word who wept.
The Word who was hungry and cold and felt pain.
The Word who touched people and was touched by them.
The Christian faith is personal with a divinity who is one with humanity. Emmanuel has calloused feet in dusty shoes.
Beware a Christian who prefers and promotes the impersonal Scripture over the image of a very human Savior. Without empathy, nothing else matters.
artwork source unknown
If you find this picture blasphemous, it’s time to check your fundy.
Because, really, why wouldn’t Jesus go trick-or-treating?
This week I had the opportunity to do a guest post for Tony Jones, a friend whom I met on my recent trip to Sri Lanka. There were many, many political discussions on that trip which provided some of the incentive for me to start this Obama year.
Check out the post and let me know, have you ever voted for Jesus?
This post was originally featured on SFL in December of 2010
If your family read the crucifixion story every year before opening your presents, you may have been a fundamentalist. For to a fundamentalist, the Incarnation is often seen as little more than the first step on the road to Calvary. For unto us a Son is given and his name shall be called Doomed, Condemned, Destined for Destruction. He was born to die.
But we do our Savior a great injustice if we give the season a tragic tone as if this Baby should be mourned as merely mortal. Consider too the years of his humanity as a child, his miracles, his compassion, his wisdom, his teachings of love for others, his laughter and tears and hunger and weariness experienced as a God who condescended to become a man and walk among us. He was born to Live.
And yes, he was betrayed and mocked and falsely accused and beaten and crucified…but the story doesn’t end there either! For of his own will he defeated death and rose from the grave, comforting his grieving friends with words of Everlasting Life. He was born to Live.
Remember the words of his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us and that he is that friend who is closer than a brother. After our years of struggle and pain are ended we too will live with him in an eternity where there will be no darkness or pain or dying ever again. In him we will finally be truly alive. He was born to Live.
Dear heart, if you want to remember the Reason for the Season as you gather on Christmas Day this year, do not mourn as if Christ’s life was only given to be consumed in the seeming tragedy of his death. Read instead these words: “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.”
He was born to Live.
Bob Gray, one of the veritable godfathers of fundamentalism has composed a list of all the things that fundamentalists like.
I find it rather telling that the King James Version, standards, old time hymns, and even banana pudding make the list but Jesus is nowhere to be found. Perhaps Bob is being more honest than he realizes.