Saturday, December 24, 2005

I Wish You an Impossible Christmas

I read a very interesting and inspiring post this morning at Semicolon. Sherry reflects on the physicality of birth and human life as it relates to Mary, Jesus, and the Christmas story we are all so familiar with. Here are a few excerpts. (boldings, spacings, italics are mine.)

...she delivered him in the normal, messy, bloody way in a stable without a doctor or an epidural or even a nurse holding her hand... She wrapped ... and laid him in a feedbox and sat down or lay down in the hay on the floor beside him to rest. Joseph probably cleaned up, swept, maybe tried to find some water to wash things up a little. It’s all a little too . . . physical, isn’t it?....

(Jesus)....lived a typically human life, ate and drank, bled when he cut himself, relieved himself, itched, scratched, slept, maybe snored. What an impossible thing to believe in.

Then the writer of Semicolon switches topics somewhat - or does she?
I saw the Narnia movie this afternoon, and I noticed ... the word “impossible.” ... the White Witch looks up to see the True King of Narnia confronting her, the king she thought she had murdered, and she exclaims, 'Impossible!’ He is so real, so physical, so undeniable, yet impossible.
Sherry switches back to the story of Jesus's life and ties it together.
Impossible that He should entrust Himself to the womb of a
young country girl from the hick-town of Nazareth.

Impossible that He should travel through the birth canal and place himself in a body, helpless to walk or communicate or even care for his own physical needs.

Impossible that He should suck at his mother’s breast to sustain the life of that very needy body.

Impossible that He should grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Impossible that He should laugh and cry and feel love and joy and anger and despair.

Impossible that He should share food and conversation and hugs and kisses with a group of human friends, one of whom turned out to be an enemy.

Impossible that He should die.

Even more impossible that He should die and then live–forever.

So real, so physical, so undeniable, so impossible.


Only the God of the Impossible could make this story a physical reality... could intersect my very physical life and make me believe...the Reality of His love and joy and forgiveness and healing.

Read Sherry's entire post at the links above.

I would like to join her in

wishing you an impossible Christmas!

1 comment:

JBL said...

Oh Joan, thank you for that sermon! That is a beautiful homily that really helps set the mood for Christmas.
Hope you have an impossible Christmas too!