The Incarnation

Samain                               Moon of the Winter Solstice

Snow.  And darkness.  So different from spring and the lengthening days of South America. The darkness and the snow both make me feel at home, rooted in the season that my genes tell me ought to be going on in December.

Cold seems to have abated and I’ve been working on my nativity presentation.  Now I end with the depression era photograph by Dorothea Lange.  The mother and her children.  A universal and timeless theme.

I’ve just created my first slide show, this one done in the presentation format of openoffice.doc because that’s the software I have on my laptop. (it’s free.)

It gives me the ability to project full view images which I could not do in the .pdf format I used when I checked out the projector on Thursday.

The whole nativity story, of course, comes into the Jesus narrative as an afterthought, a reflection that such an important guy must have had a special and memorable birth.  Not an unusual phenomena in history, but it does make the familiar stories and images very much in the realm of myth and archetype and not history.

The big idea I take away from the nativity narratives is the incarnation.  God becomes human.  Especially in a monotheistic faith this is an extraordinary idea, mind blowing.  Seemingly impossible.  Debate over just how it was possible occupied the Christian church until the Chalcedonian council when competing ideas got sorted and the notion of Jesus as both fully human and fully God became dominant.

In m own breakaway syncretism I put the notion of incarnation in synch with the Hindu namaste. The God in me bows to the God in you.  This way we don’t have to wrestle with the unusual task of fitting an omniscient and omnipresent being into a frail human vessel.  Instead, each of us is a splinter of the divinity, a chip off the old divine block.  We don’t have to pray upward and outward to reach the holy, rather we can go down and in, plumbing our depths, depths which have their roots in the sacred river.

No matter how you understand it this holiseason represents and celebrates the divine human.  Sounds about right to me.  Lets go caroling.

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