Sunday, December 13, 2020

Advent shocks 3)

The greatest shock in the world remains 3. God chooses to become a baby. We should never ever get over this shock.  Oswald Chambers challenges us that it is not the Fatherhood of God that should amaze us but the babyhood of God.  He did not come from the human race. He came into it from above. Jesus Christ is not the best human being.  He is a being who cannot be accounted for by the human race at all. He is God incarnate, not man becoming God, but God coming into human flesh, coming into it from the outside.

Rationlists mock Christian claims about the virgin birth and the resurrection. Which sensible person could swallow such ideas?  But the two greatest events about God entering our world to change it - the birth and resurrection of Jesus - would always be much bigger than anything the world has ever seen before, wouldn't they?  This is God in action! They call for transrational thinking that recognizes subjects like God, infinity, incarnation and resurrection are beyond normal thinking. Honestly, would you expect to be able to explain them? 

When I was training for ministry my college Principal, an eccentric Welshman, sometimes surprised us in college chapel.  I remember him praising God that he was like a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere?  This really startled me. 'What did he say?'  How could God be a circle,  how might this picture help me praise God. Only later did I realize he was quoting Augustine with a desire to emphasize both the omnipresence of God with each of us yet also his infinity beyond our knowing.  And it does work to express how Jesus meets with us by his Spirit where we are though he reigns with the Father in glory.  Yet, does it work in this particular story?  God remains infinite in majesty, glory and power yet the centre of the the circle is SOMEWHERE.  Bethlehem and Nazareth.   

A large dose of transrational thinking is necessary for Advent praise!

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