Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Christmas Thoughts II

I love all of Chapter One from The Gospel of John, but particularly these words, "And the Word was made 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."

One sentence, and yet so rich and full of implications.  Of questions.  Of impossible assertions.  The Eternal Logos of God, existing before time, "emptied himself" as the Apostle Paul said to the Philippians.  Ah, another verse rich and full of implications, questions and assertions.   The one who was God and with God emptied himself in order to become like those he created (John 10:1). 

The wonder of that is more than I can express.  What does it mean that the Son, the Word, the Creator, emptied himself?  I remember a fascinating discussion about that from a Theology class long ago.  How much of God qualities like omnipotence (all power) and omniscience (all knowing) remained?  What was emptied in order for the Eternal Word to become Mary's boy child?

I am feeling lonely this Christmas. It has nothing to do with the part of Christmas that is a holy day, the primary celebration I spoke of in part one.  That celebration, which is mostly internal, does not depend on external things for its significance.  It is all about those implications, questions, and those impossible assertions.  Impossible except this is God we are pondering. 

I will write more about loneliness later, but for now I am thinking that at least part of that emptying--whatever it involved and however it occurred--means that Jesus understood--and understands-- loneliness.  That he understands longing for a home that no longer exists.  That he missed his mother during his days tramping around the countryside and staying in the homes of others.  That he might have grieved at the loss of Joseph, who seems to have died early on. That he occasionally must have wondered what it would be like to have a pretty wife, a snug home, and work that ended when the sun set.  That he was sometimes exasperated with his band of followers.

He "emptied himself" and so was lonely sometimes. Knowing this doesn't make the loneliness go away.   But it is good to think on, nonetheless.  Jesus understands. 

The Word became like us...


Unknown said...

You always have such a wonderful way of putting my thoughts & feelings into words. On the today's topic it's so nice knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way durning the holiday season. Thank you so much for putting your heart out there for all of us to see. God bless you.

Mary Beth said...

Bless you. Thank you for saying this. It can be such a hard time of year. I am grateful that you are writing.

Lynne said...

I'm sure that my being emptied is nothing like what he did. But, I feel more now than ever to empty myself of my will. It has not been easy. And reading this has made me ponder more. Thanks for sharing!