“God embraced our frame
When He graced the world He made
All hail the divine in a manger
Love embraced our fate
When the playwright took the stage
All hail the arrival of our maker
All hail the arrival of our Saviour
All hail the arrival of our maker” Arrival – Hillsong. (From the album ‘The Peace Project’).
(Artist – Jesse Treece)
I find these lyrics encouraging in amongst my own ‘shoulds.’ I guess in a sense, all the apparent joy we observe explicitly through others via social media and marketing around Christmas time can create for us an apparent chasm by revealing to us a contrast; of how we feel things should be, versus how they actually are. As a Christian, this almost creates a sense that God is waiting illusively on the other side of a chasm – a place where all of our ‘shoulds’ are fulfilled, rather than sensing a God who sits here-with-us-now. I don’t know what this year has looked like for you; whether Christmas seems to err on the side of feeling joyous, or melancholy. But I know for many, Christmas day carries many connotations other than just the bright, shiny happy ones. As the day draws near, we may suddenly feel pressure or sadness; our families are supposed to be perfect, right? Our relationships should be on top form, right? We should have done more, offered more, been winning in more areas by now, right?
What form of ‘shoulds’ does this time of year bring forth for you – if any?
It’s just.. I think the spirit of Christmas might actually be radically contrary to these pressures we find ourselves squashed beneath. Jesus fully took on our humanity by entering the human race as a helpless babe; rather than running from the predicaments of the world, he moved in towards them in a way that could be fully seen and known – by us. Jesus put to full human- form the nature of God in a way that had never occurred before, by becoming full-human.
And when we read about Jesus, we find story upon story of the divine entering the everyday; of love, grace and healing working through what are often beautifully simple conversations and spontaneous meetings with imperfect people. Instead of being lead by a sense of discouragement about where and who we are not this Christmas or how things have not turned out as we had thought, perhaps we can invite in the spirit of the God who moves towards, rather than away from the entirety of who we are and what we are experiencing. He sits not on the other side of the chasm, but rather, with us here, where we are -now. And we may find that through our knowing him in this way, the apparent chasm between he and ‘we,’ may cease to exist.