The birth of Jesus is the ultimate outsider moment in history. We’ve long since dressed it up with tinsel and lights, making it something merry, pretty and popular. We celebrate with gaiety, food, song, gifts and warm, crackling fireplace fires. In the process, we’ve divorced ourselves from the starker, darker reality of the actual event, where a babe lay swaddled in a pile of straw, nervously watched over by two very human, very perplexed parents. By any objective measurement, the original Christmas moment was nothing we would want to celebrate as a crowning achievement. More likely, it was a desperate, cold, lonely affair.
And yet it is precisely the unreserved honesty of the story from which we draw a timeless sense of hope, as our darker human colors get shot through with divine light. Because the fact is, we all exist outside perfection, no less the babe in the manger. READ MORE >>>
If you love Jesus in this life, you will eventually awaken to the truth that in a sense you exist outside your true place. We are all outside perfection. We dwell in the land of mess and rain, where bullies roam. Yes, grace is there with us, like a friend drawing us back toward warmth and shelter, sustaining us. And there are those brief, wonderful glimpses of The World As It Should Be, where we do get picked for the team. We do get the candy (see previous posts 1 & 2). No more tears. No more sickness. No more cancer. No more abuse or loss. No more divorce or depression. No more school shootings or sons lost on the battlefield. But we aren’t there yet. That’s another world, the Kingdom of God, while we presently exist in the space of kingdom realization chiefly through prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth…” We long for it with sweat and blood and memory. But there is a process called Human Experience that we must endure along the way. And it isn’t always pretty. READ MORE>>>