Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Word Became Flesh

(I wrote the first version of this a couple of years ago as I tried to get my mind around what it really meant for Jesus to leave the glories of Heaven and become human. I never did fully grasp it, which is why I 'tweak' it each year. I'm realizing our finite brains never will (at least this side of Heaven)! But, contrasting God's words to Job with Jesus' birth fills me with new joy and awe and love.  I pray it may do so for you, too!)

A Christmas Reflection using selected verses from Job 38 & 42

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm.
     The not-yet-born child kicks, making a visible lump on his mother’s swollen belly
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?  Tell me if you understand.
     The pain begins to build. Up ahead, at last, Bethlehem.
Who marked off its dimensions?  Surely you know!
     No room. Does God know her baby is about to be born in a stable?
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
     The infinite One squeezes through a narrow channel
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-
     No female relatives nearby. Does Joseph know how to deliver a baby?
While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
     Outside angels sing, but here the only sound is a gasping young girl, straining as she gives birth.
Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
     The Deliverer is delivered!
When I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
     The Hope of the world lies naked, slippery, sticky. 
When I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
     The Limitless One limits Himself in skin and bone and sinew
When I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
     Tepid water, a carpenter’s rough hands to wash tender skin
Here is where your proud waves halt’?
     King of kings humbles Himself
Have you given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place
     Invincible God uses tiny lungs to draw shallow breaths
Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
     Boundless One, bound up in swaddling clothes
Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?
     Little baby, you came to be cast into the depths of Hell, all out of love for us
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? 
     In this newly born body, the One who spoke creation cannot yet form words.
What is the way to the abode of light?  And where does darkness reside?
     Eyes that gazed on the formless empty earth now blink and tear in dim stable light
Surely you know, for you were already born!  You have lived so many years!
     The Alpha and the Omega is scant minutes old
Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?
     Almighty God, unable even to lift His head without support
Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?
     The Source of all knowledge curls delicate hand around Mary’s finger.
Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God?       
     The Word made flesh turns to his mother and begins to nurse.

Then Job replied to the LORD… Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know… My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
     Thank you, Father, for Jesus. We cannot completely understand what it meant for Him to become flesh, but we praise You for the wonder of it all. Thank you that we have not just heard of You, but through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we have seen You. How we long for the day we will see You face-to-face! Until then, may we faithfully proclaim Your wonderful Good News to the world.

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking a lot about this ever since I had my children. I even said to Mark this week, "can you imagine how scared Mary was without a female relative or the village midwife." I can't even imagine it. It is so precious and so wonderful and yet so humble. Thanks for this reflection, Kim.