First post of the New Year (2023)
Two great quotes shared with us by a friend and supporter of our ministry that I didn’t want to wait until next Christmas to share.
“Without the Incarnation, Christianity isn’t even a very good story, and most sadly, it means nothing. ‘Be nice to one another’; is not message that can give my life meaning, assure me of love beyond brokenness, and break open the dark doors of death with the key of hope. The incarnation is an essential part of Jesus-shaped spirituality.”
aka The Internet Monk
This morning I was meditating on Isaiah 64:3-4:
“You did awesome things which we did not expect.
For when You came down the mountains quaked at Your presence.
For from days of old, no one has heard
or perceived by ear,
no eye has seen a God besides You
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”
All the other “gods” of men have no power to act. But our God, our magnificent God, the only God, is mighty. And He is in the business of acting on behalf of those who wait for Him. Who are those who “wait for Him”? They are the ones who trust Him. They are the ones who know that it is always too early to give up on His promises. And they are the ones who are in awe that He, the Mighty One, would condescend to take on flesh, to become “God with us” (Immanuel). Like Isaiah says, He does the unexpected. Which is where the next quote comes in:
“Humility was an offensive characteristic for a God, in the eyes of early non-Christians. How could Christians worship a God who deliberately chose to share in human birth with all its mess and vulnerability and limitation, as well as a shameful death? How can we now worship a God to whom all the unimportant little details of our lives actually matter? How can we respect a God who takes us more seriously than we take ourselves, and yet is not impressed with all our accomplishments? Who loves us equally well, whether we succeed of fail? How could it really be that God simply disregards not only our education, our tastes, our industry, our niceness, our worthiness in order to love us? God’s greatness we cannot begin to approach. The sheer humility of God’s love is incomprehensible.”
–Roberta C. Bondi
Professor Emerita, Chandler School of Theology