Using the lens of what C.S. Lewis called “the baptized imagination,” I try to picture what it must have been like for Jesus’s brothers to sit around the breakfast table or to do weekend chores with a sinless sibling. After John, the Gospel writer, had opened his own lens wide enough to take in Christ’s presence at the creation of all things, he spent the rest of his word count describing the teaching and the deeds that filled Jesus’s days as he “dwelt among us.”
We know there were days when friends let him down, when beloved people died, and when he simply did not have enough rest, food, time, cash, or fill-in-the-blank with your own scarce resource of choice. We know this is true, because Jesus had “moved into the neighborhood,” and scarcity is a characteristic of this neighborhood called planet Earth.
Never is scarcity more evident than during the frenzied season of Christmas. We over-schedule, over-spend, and over-extend ourselves all in the name of celebration, and yet the truth is that God-With-Us, Emmanuel, continues to “dwell among us” even as we make poor choices in our celebration of the gift of his presence.
In her Advent poem Descent, Luci Shaw describes the complete other-ness of Jesus’s arrival here:
Down he came from up
and in from out,
and here from there.
A long leap, an incandescent fall
to naked, frail, small…”
Committed to the Father’s plan to wrap this world in redemption, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Celebrating the mystery,
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