Glory to God in the lowest

(now with clickable links )

Friends, I'm grateful for you. It gives me joy to sit down at my computer this morning and contemplate connecting with you. It's the day after Christmas and I'm feeling calm and deeply thankful for Immanuel - God with us. And my thankfulness is about more than Jesus coming to us as a helpless babe and moving into our neighborhood, as marvelous and hope-filled as that is. For me this year the power of the Incarnation rests in the fact that Jesus wept. Jesus wept at the graveside of his friend. Jesus wept over Jerusalem and our human tendencies to destroy each other - to kill and hate and dehumanize bearers of God's own image. I've done my own weeping this Christmas for the pain and suffering that's both close to me and far away. I've tried hard to remember that the Incarnation means that God is near to the broken-hearted, the brutalized, the oppressed, the weeping. God weeps too. God weeps with me. God weeps with you.

God is also not content to have us live like this and calls us, invites us, commands us to receive and embrace God's incarnational Love. Love that comes near, that bends down, that enters messy and brutalized places and shines the light of Love there. GK Chesterton in a Christmas poem written in 1920 has the line, "Glory to God in the lowest." I find it comforting to imagine God coming to us in the lowest, lowliest places on earth.

I want to leave you with a strong encouragement, if you haven't already, to listen to the recent sermon preached by Dr. Isaac Munther, the pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. I've tried to share the link below. The church has already become known internationally for its moving depiction of "Christ in the Rubble." I've also shared a link to a print created by Kelly Latimore, by the same name.

I want to leave you with encouraging words for today and the year ahead.

Kate Bowler gives them to us.

"Our God, who set the world spinning. should come down for this one reason: to love us into newness.

Not for gain, or our capitalist fantasies, but for the hope so freely, lavishly given, that we might learn to see, feel, and live Christ's love.

Thank you, Christ the Giver and the Gift."

Peace to you,