by Ilia Delio
Christmas is a beautiful time of the year when we are reminded that the heavens could not contain God, but a simple manger could contain the mystery of divine love. We are reminded that love is stronger than death and that hope is the constancy of light shining through darkness.
We are amazed by this earthy God who shows up after five massive terrestrial extinctions, in which millions of species were wiped off the face of the earth.
We are confronted by the reality that death does not have the last word, that life endures beyond death, and that the power of love enkindling life cannot be snuffed out.
It is spellbinding that after millions of years of biological evolution human consciousness reaches a point where divinity appears; that Jesus is the human person who shows us the power of the human soul to manifest divine life.
In Jesus, we see that the heavens could not contain God, but the human person can do so, and we see that this is no typical cultic God, not a God who is distant, remote and in control but a God who is humble, selfless and in need of a human heart. We see a God who is at home in the hidden silence of the desert and who appears only through human consent.
Christmas reminds us that God constantly moves from highest to lowest, from power to poverty, from creator to creature, because God is the mystery of love, and the logic of love is shown in the dynamism of relationship; as if God sings among the stars, “I need you to be complete.”
The birth of Jesus is really the mystery of the human person, not simply what we are but what we are called to be—God-bearers–capable of receiving God within us, holding God and nurturing God, as a mother loves her child. We humans have the capacity for God-life, but we sell ourselves short and thus we constantly waver between beasts and angels – which is exactly the spot where the manger is placed.
Let us wake up this Christmas to the truth of our lives, not by sitting in front of a plastic baby Jesus in the manger, as we unwrap our consumer gifts, but by placing a mirror in the manger and bending low to see our face within it. Then perhaps we may know the real meaning of Christmas, because the divine love made flesh two thousand years ago is now our flesh. Who is born in the manger this Christmas? Let us be born anew, for the power of love within us is the power that can change the world.
Merry Christmas from the Center for Christogenesis!