“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”
In a little while I’ll be going out to sing about that story. No, I’m not caroling. I’ve been invited to celebrate this evening in a congregation that chants almost all of the service.
I have written before that I come from a culture that doesn’t much share emotions, and that it is in music that I can reach those feelings and give them release. The Eucharist sung may not seem the exact place to do that. On the other hand, I’ve been saying for years that Anglo-catholic liturgy is how Anglicans do Pentecostalism. It’s how we reach beneath the rational to find the emotional center, bring it up, and bring the two together. And so I will be moved again, feeling the Spirit present among us, as we sing of the presence among us of Him who sent the Spirit.
I am convinced that Christmas is the celebration of the hardest thing God ever did. We discuss how difficult was the Cross, and I don’t doubt it; but having become flesh, dying, and even dying painfully, was natural. Being God become flesh, resurrection was natural. But for God to literally condescend (con-descend, descend to be with) to become one of us, to empty of all that it means to participate in Godhead, literally for God to embrace and take on that which is not God but creature – this is an act beyond our imagining. If it were not revealed, we could never claim it; as indeed there are so many who refuse to claim it now. We who cannot choose to be God, can hardly imagine that God should choose to be us. We who so often wish we were God, who so often act as if we were God, can hardly imagine that God would give up that which we so desire, not understanding all it entails. That God should choose in a way, for a while, not to be God, and more should do so for us and for ours, is surely sufficient to leave us in awe and wonder.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”
And the Word became us, and dwelt among flesh.
O Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
Blessed Christmas, Beloved of God.