24 December 2008

SURPRISE! Christmas Eve Day 2008

(Artist unknown. Credit will be given as possible.)

This evening on Christmas we celebrate the response to God's Word Jesus is and will grow in grace and stature to become. (Remember that Christmas is the Feast of the Nativity and that Incarnation involves the whole of Jesus' life and death.) We should be clear that our own capacity for incarnation is similar to that of Jesus'.

Each of us is called to become an incarnation of the Word of God, though not in the precise sense as Jesus. Each of us is called to be Daughter or Son, a response to the One who calls us to authentic humanity and to be heirs of his own Kingdom, though again, not in a way which obviates Jesus' uniqueness as Incarnate Word. The need to hold together both parts of this paradox is one of the most serious in theology, and one of the most difficult.

It is interesting to consider "what if" questions from time to time, and the question regarding Jesus' gender is one of these. If we cannot at least understand that the Word of God COULD have been definitively incarnated in a woman, if we cannot understand the humor (and seriousness!) of the above cartoon, but instead become offended by it, perhaps we have yet missed the point of Christmas and a God who TRULY comes to us in the unexpected way and place.