Last week, a co-worker asked whether we’ve reached the place in American culture where Christianity is seen as a fringe system of belief. I rattled off nine reasons why, if we’re honest, Christianity should be considered a fringe system of belief to those in the world at large. This Advent season, I’m exploring these beliefs and offering a somewhat surprising conclusion. Today, I’ll explore reason number 2.
MY COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL, UNSCIENTIFIC, ORTHODOX, FRINGE SYSTEM OF BELIEF
POINT 2: We believe that the Supreme Power became small and stepped into his own creation.
To quote the Good Book, Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities… and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:15-17) To put it another way, through the creative power Jesus, atoms hold one to another and form molecules. Molecules hold one to another and form building blocks of matter. These building blocks of matter attach to each other and form larger substances. And it is these collections of atoms, molecules, and substances–all held together by the sustaining power of Jesus–that form the very chair in which you are sitting or the Breakfast of Champions you might have eaten this morning.
This is what the Good Book says.
Consider this irony, then: though God himself, Jesus stepped into the nature of his own creation, becoming a collection of cells. An embryo held together by his own eternal word, Jesus swam inside the womb of a woman (a womb which was likewise held together by the same eternal word). God-with-us confined himself to a collection of atoms and molecules, and placed himself inside another collection of atoms and molecules, so that he could enter into this world of atoms and molecules and rescue it from its groaning. In so doing, he willingly accepted the limitations of humanity, became our brother in breathing the air he created, drinking the water he poured out, and eating the fish he spoke into being. He entered this world as a willing, embryonic participant, and he held together by way of his own words.
And why would God take such seemingly rash action? This is the grand mystery of Advent.
And sign up to receive my monthly Tiny Letter: A Compendium of Projects, People, Places, and Things. In November’s issue, I’m examining the question, “what is beauty?” and exploring the beauty found in nature, art, and people. Sign up today, and I’ll send you a copy of the November Tiny Letter, and you’ll receive my monthly Tiny Letter updates!
Want to receive my updates in your inbox? Click here. Also, follow along on Twitter and Facebook.