Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Talkin' 'bout JC - A Free Write

Folks, I've been absolutely overwhelmed with work. It's that season of life, as you might expect. I am in the final sprint toward my masters degree. I am wrapping up programming at my job (at an undergraduate college). But, perhaps most importantly to me (right now, anyway)  am working on my Candidacy paperwork for PCUSA. These are the statements of faith and belief that will make or break me (well, for the time being). Articulating why this statement or faith claim is important - or why I fall down on the side that I do is WAY more complicated that one could initially imagine. One of my free-write-anything-you-want-to-get-the-juices-flowing session yielded an amusing, but also insightful look into what I think about good ol' JC. No, not John Calvin, or even Jimmy Carter, but the One and only Jesus Christ! I include it below as a sign of both my thoughts on our Lord, but also as a sign of my (maybe unhinged?) mental state. And the effects our three cups of coffee in less than an hour. Be warned - there is a bit of rough language. It is a free write, after all.


Jesus is…kinda a big deal. Like seriously. A Big mother fucking deal. No joke, dudes. He’s a big deal because he’s, like, God. Not like, but actually God. The God. The God who spoke the world into being. The God who led the Israelites out of Egypt and parted the Red Sea. The God who called for justice and righteousness through the prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea. This majestic, benevolent, merciful yet justice-oriented God is the same God that is fully present in the human being Jesus Christ. That’s a big deal. A really, really big deal. Why? Well, for one thing, the God of the universe took on flesh – took on the weakness of a newborn babe. The awkwardness of a teenage boy – complete with zits and growth spurts and the like. Took on the vulnerability unto death. That all by itself is pretty damn remarkable. But what is even more remarkable is that this God became incarnate – took on human skin and limitation and finitude – because this God loves us. God moved toward us, in our wayward, unfaithfulness. God abided with us in the most intimate way. God covenanted with us and redeemed us through this incarnation.

How is this love? How is God’s incarnation a loving act? Well, if the whole, creator-of the-universe-in-human-flesh-to-be-closer-to-us doesn’t come across as loving, then maybe the fact that Jesus is the eternal sacrifice to redeem humanity from sin will. Yep, Jesus Christ, that wandering fool from Nazareth who is secretly God incarnate (do you see a pattern – God incarnate), is also the paschal lamb- the redeeming act of grace confirmed upon a sinful humanity across all generation for all time. Jesus didn’t just exist historically (although, that’s part of God’s whole coming to earth as a human being thing – being limited to historical finitude), this act of reconciliation of creation (not just humanity!) to the Godself (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is an eternal act, existing both in the singular, profound moment in historical time, and also eternally happening.

This is why Jesus is a big deal. Jesus is the example of what true humanity should be – what it looks like to have a “right relationship” with God (one characterized by freeing the oppressed, eating meals with sinners, redeeming the “impure” and generally living in a way that is ABSOLUTELY different than EVERY expression of Christianity around today. Yep, all of us are far, far short of the example Christ gives us). Jesus is a big deal because in him we come to know God, that wholly Other, fully different, majestic and profound God who breathed all creation into being. In Jesus, God accommodates the Godself to our limited understanding. God “condescends” as Uncle Karl (Barth) would say, to humanity. God moves to us. Not, of course, because God has to, or needs to. God is NOT lonely. God does not NEED anything. God is whole. God is complete within the trinity. But God is a God of self-giving love. That that, my friends, means God loves us so fucking much that God become a creature (do you get that, the Creator became a creature), to show/prove/emphasize this unwavering, inexplicable, undeserved love for us. That is why Jesus Christ, God incarnate, Word made flesh, is a great big, fat deal.

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