Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas: "Help is on the way . . . "

Lights in the darkness

When you eat breakfast every day with a pastor, you're likely to encounter all kinds of questions.

Around this time of year, you might hear (in a matter-of-fact sort of way), "So . . . what does "the incarnation" bring up for you?"

And  . . . when you live across the street from a hospital, you hear ambulances go by frequently.

Recently, the ambulances and the questions reminded me of a story . . .

Back in the '60s, we had a family friend name Larry who was a philosophy professor and also a volunteer ambulance driver. One day we were together and we heard the sound of an ambulance in the distance. One of us shuddered and said, "The ambulance siren . . . it means someone's been hurt."

Larry (who frequently offered up the other side of things) replied, "Oh, don't think of it that way . . . . What the sound of the ambulance means is 'help is on the way.'"

Every time I've heard an ambulance in the past forty or so years, I've thought, "help is on the way."

And now, since that breakfast, I think, "help is on the way . . . like the incarnation."

Related posts

If one doesn't believe God's entry into the world is literal and in-the-flesh -- but rather some kind of abstract relationship -- much less if one has no conception of any kind to tie one to the the rest of humanity -- it becomes very hard to get beyond a concept of responsibility that is narrow and legalistic.

(See Drones: Am I Responsible? on the Awake to Drones blog.)

I believe that once the Church comes out of the closet -- that is, once we start speaking quite openly about the difference between the world as we find it and the world as we believe God wishes it to be -- there is no way this old world will be able to stay the same.

(See Let the Church Out of the Closet

I believe Easter is God's gift to humanity of victory over death, hopelessness and frailty, and I believe that God is alive and in our midst. The witness of the Guantanamo lawyers has confirmed me in those beliefs.

(See Easter Victory: The Guantanamo Lawyers )