The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22-23 NRSV

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Vulnerable God

Christmas Greetings from Leslie D. Callahan.

Of the Christmas lessons, the one from John 1:1-14 shows us Jesus Christ at his most transcendent and most vulnerable. The story begins not with Nazareth and the Annunciation or with Bethlehem and the birth of Christ, but in eternity where Word of God existed in the beginning, making the world that we all occupy. The Word was with God and the Word was God. Without the Word nothing was made. But the Word did not remain remote, over creation and apart from it. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In Jesus Christ, God became concrete.

In becoming so much a part of creation, Christ must have known that his identity could be misunderstood and misappropriated. God in Christ must have known that there would be some who could not receive the divine because of the particularities of the human flesh – his gender, his ethnicity, his age, his marital status, his class, his religious affiliation. Still others would deny that Christ was a real human at all because of the divine nature expressed in him. And yet, knowing that his own would not receive him, and others would never see him, still the Word of God became flesh – touchable, viewable, sensitive, and mortal flesh – and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. God became like one of us.

In this holy season, as we celebrate the arrival of the One whom we did not expect, in a form we almost did not recognize, we who have beheld his glory and received the power to become the children of God must likewise prepare ourselves to take risks and become vulnerable. No, everyone will not receive us. Yes, we too will be misunderstood, our words misappropriated, and our identities rejected. Being accessible and touchable opens us up to the possibility of being injured or even killed. But we are comforted in the knowledge that God through Jesus Christ knows exactly what we feel. Wherever we go in his name, he goes with us and goes before us. Christ has been there first


Alan Stoddard said...

I stumbled across your blog via I liked your incarnation, vulnerable God post. Good stuff.

I would challenge you to look at Mike Huckabee's responses to your concerns about paroles. I had the opportunity to meet Mike Huckabee. Huckabee's values far exceed those of Oprah. Search and see her universal theology. I agree she has done some good stuff. However, she doesn't get a pass for bad theology. Scripture would witness that her stuff will not last in eternity. She is not a Christian. Huckabee is not the perfect candidate for a hard core republican. Yet he should be the best of many worlds for a democrat.

It won't be long and someone else will be up for the blame. Time is getting short. If any of the democrat candidates win, Christian influence will begin to wane in ways we have yet to see.

ÅnØmålî said...

I do not believe that anyone is qualified to say what Oprah is or isn't but God and Oprah. While everyone is entitled to their own OPINION, it ought not be stated as a fact. You do NOT know that woman's heart, and no offense, but what have you done to change the world lately???



Alan Stoddard said...

Thanks for the response Rev. Callahan.

I would challenge you to still to look on and see for yourself Oprah's own reaction as her audience challenged her concerning Jesus Christ. I judge no one. She judge's herself and speaks for herself, literally.

I have been to Niger and Burkina Faso West Africa. I have looked into the eyes of men and women in the 10/40 window who have never once heard Jesus name.

I have a lot of respect for what Oprah's work in Africa. She's done more than most. Her message is just wrong. Jesus did say He was the only way.

I don't know what you would consider worthy of me changing "the world lately." Don't know what to do with that so I will leave it.

Blessings as you blog!

Leslie D. Callahan said...

Alan, actually I did not respond to your post. Another reader Anomali did. Please look more closely at the source. I will say, though, that I appreciate the tone of your posts. You are commendable non-defensive in addressing the concerns Anomali raised.