The Word of God became flesh.
John 1: the Logos got a body and moved into town with a specific agenda.
Okay, it’s not as romantic as the nativity creche and singing Silent Night. Not as fun as family around the fireplace, or as click-bait as retail sales. But give it a chance:
What’s crystallized in Jesus Christ is justice.
Throughout the Older Testament, the prophets and psalmists sing of God’s primary concern for the world: setting things right for those most vulnerable in society. These particular groups are named: orphans, widows, immigrants, the poor– those of us suffering because of institutional systems (including ways of thinking) that others of us benefit from.
Advent enacts our longing for God’s justice and compassion.
Christmas celebrates this dream embodied on earth in Jesus Christ.
Epiphany calls for the church’s enactment of this holy agenda.
Fast forward to Simeon. In a few weeks we’ll catch him at Jesus’ dedication. Holding baby Jesus in his arms, Simeon beholds him and whispers with a smile too deep for a face to hold, “I can die now.” The text tells that he had been waiting for the consolation of Israel.
Some of us are longing for such consolation– a sign or signal that things are going to be okay. That the long, heartbreaking arc is bending.
Among the trees and lights and nativity scenes, it might be good to ask God and one another: How’s that Peace on Earth, Good Will To All thing going?