It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles
Oh beloved, it is true.
We are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality.* We really do understand that there has to be more, SO. VERY. MUCH. MORE. than the incessant squabbling of our social networks and flesh. The dull and caustic monotony of existence makes us squirm in our physical bodies.
We yearn for more. We really need more…
Oh, the flesh comes up with many ideas. But all of them, from wealth, to power, pleasure and honor fail. In fact they have a negative compounding effect in that they leave us exponentially more alone, and wanting – yearning – for something that is infinitely more.
Christmas? What? Oh yes, Jesus emptied Himself, was born of a young virgin, in a humble stable, and then humbled Himself in obedience throughout His life. He was even humbly obedient to the point of death on the cross. This is amazing news!
YES! This is amazing news. But, it is not the entire story. Our yearnings within us, tell us that there must be something more to all of this.
Can we see it?
Christmas was indeed the ἐκένωσεν (Kenosis, emptying, giving up status and authority) of Jesus position in the Trinity, on our behalf. But, have you ever wondered about the solution to that entire equation? Remember, Infinity is a value that if you take anything away from it, it is still beyond measure.
For thus says the One Who is high and lifted up, Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
~ from The Oracle of Isaiah, chapter 57
Infinity is also a value that remains beyond measure, even if you add to something to it. This emptying of G_d in the passage in Philippians was not only that Jesus became a man like us. Oh YES, HE is surely fully G_d and fully Man.
But, our yearnings… What is this that we long for? It is so close. But we shy away from it when we feel the clues coming together. We are not (yet) like Him.
Are you catching this yet? Ready for Christmas?!?!
G_d became a man, not only to meet us in our darkness, and fallen estate. This Man, Jesus, remained “…One Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,…” And remember, all of Who G_d is, is Love. So, why did Jesus become a Man? He did it so that we can receive what we have really yearned for at Christmas:
To be known and honored
and… To finally know Him and be utterly well-come in the family of G_d.
So, YES! Jesus became truly human. BUT, He was the Firstborn of an entire race of eternal Children of an eternal Family. He started as infinitely Divine, and added to Himself the human form – making both infinitely real.
We started as truly homo sapiens, but Jesus has unified His infinite Life in ours through His conquering of death and sin at the cross. Through death, Jesus solved both sides of the infinite equation. Both the infinitely Divine Jesus, and the infinitely Human Jesus are united – IN US, and US IN HIM. In Christ alone, our complete humanity has been joined with His Infinite Divinity – forever.
Then it gets better! Our desires are so large. There is only One Way they can be fulfilled!
In the resurrection of Christ, we see the sealing of this infinite bond. Jesus entered the world as G_d. He then ascended from this world as both Infinite G_d and Infinite Man. His exit from heaven set the stage for our exit from this world, and into the New World He has re-created us both to inhabit, together!
So, are you feeling like Christmas is just a quaint holiday where Jesus humbled Himself to come and visit us for a while? This is true, but the full meaning is that He visited us, that we may go and STAY with Him where we both truly belong, in the fullness of Joy, enjoying each other’s Presence – forever.
The flood of temporal things draws us after itself, but in this flood there is, as it were, a full-grown tree: our Lord Jesus Christ. He took flesh, died, and ascended to heaven. It is as if He agreed to be in the flood of the temporal. Is this stream dragging you headlong? Hold on to Christ. He became temporal for you, so that you might become eternal, for He became temporal in such a way that He remained eternal.
~Augustine of Hippo (Sermons on I John, II.10).
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.