December 17, 2008

A Confluence of Events

Three things have struck me all together this week.
1. The Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas Message was published this week.
2. God tells Nathan to tell David, "I'm not going to be boxed in."
3. The angel Gabriel tells Mary, "God is going to box himself in."

The ABC's Christmas Message begins with this paragraph,
"Human beings, left to themselves, have imagined God in all sorts of shapes; but – although there were one or two instances, in Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, of gods being pictured as boys – it took Christianity to introduce the world to the idea of God in the form of a baby: in the form of complete dependence and fragility, without power or control. If you stop to think about it, it is still shocking. And it is also deeply challenging."

It really is shocking and deeply challenging to conceive of a god (let alone the God of all the universe) coming to earth as a baby, totally vulnerable, utterly dependant upon his young mother and a step-father.  That God's plan for salvation would have progressed so far in 1000 years says a lot about how tenacious our God is to restore broken relationships.

God went from not being willing to live in a grand temple to living as a human baby.  Huge!  I think we could learn a lot from the way God tries and tries and tries; the way God is imaginative about his interaction with us; the way that he doesn't give up despite thousands of years of evidence saying that we were beyond repair.

The Annunciation is, in many ways, the culmination of many many attempts by God to restore his creation.  God said yes to a new way.  Mary said yes to a new life.  What is God calling us to say "yes" to?

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