Christmas in ordinary life

He started out as a baby

without self-awareness –

the great I AM –

and needing to put the pieces together

as he grew; to figure out his purpose

and learn about his father.

He needed to learn a skill and trade

among his family – brothers, dad.

He began each day with no awareness

of what that day would bring, or where

it would take him.

He needed to learn how to surrender

his human will to the will of God,

and then

how to keep doing it day after day

in the context of an ordinary life –

a tradesman in a nowhere town

during tense political times.

He needed to learn

to see God

with human eyes

and live for God, with God

in a human life.

The Jesus we saw at the end –

His few short years of publicity

and long hours of pain on a cross –

was the final result. He learned

how to live God’s life

as a human.

Which is what we need to learn;

and at Christmas, when we try to remember

a long ago event in a faraway place,

and to somehow piece it together

with our ordinary lives, so that it means

what we know it should mean,

we can remind ourselves

that he did learn,

that he knows how to learn,

and how to teach us.

And that although for us

it is long ago and far away,

it is not for him.

To God, whose thoughts are never dimmed by time,

the experience of being human

is fresh, and utterly now.

He is still learning,

as a master learns,

for and with each one of us,

how to live his life

in ours.


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