Thursday, December 20, 2007

A messy business...

Many of our people create for themselves a permanently maintained happiness in the midst of so much public suffering. That state is based on an illusion about the nature of reality. It can only work if we block ourselves from a certain degree of that reality. That's what's meant by denial.

The Christian, though, is always saying, "Come, Lord Jesus." In other words, "Let reality get at me, the full reality, the Cosmic Christ, all that is."

The Incarnation is the refusal of all denial. It is God saying yes to the muddy, the messy, the partial, the powerlessness of it all.

from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr

This is what is at the heart of all our waiting. It was at the heart of Simeon's, and Anna's, waiting too - the messy, ordinary, vulnerable outcast birth of the Son of David, the promised King.

Somehow we have to understand that the other side of Advent, the coming of Christ in glory, the reign of the Lamb who was slain, will surely dawn on a world like ours, and to people like us: messy, partial, powerless people - like the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15, the tax collector in Luke 18, or blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10 - who are reduced to a final extremity that can only cry, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!"


Lindy said...

Excellent MikeF... and we only wait four weeks each year. Think what must have been going through Simeon's mind along about year 70... He waited all that time. And he kept looking too, otherwise he would have missed it.

Mike Farley said...

Thank you, Rowan... That means a lot, coming from a dog who's named after an Archbishop. Do give my best to Lindy for me!