Sometimes there’s a word that keeps coming up in your world regardless of the context. For instance, as many of you know, the Arps are in the process of moving. And so on many of the boxes that contained our earthly possessions we printed the word “Fragile”. And not because we are necessarily particularly fond of these possessions, but more than likely because we cannot afford to replace said possessions. These last few days this term has also taken on new meaning to me as I became the victim of one of the latest strands of a stomach virus and realized just how “fragile” I was. There is nothing like twenty-four desperate hours spent clinging to a ceramic bowl to remind you just how delicate your body’s balance is. To think that the body can be completely disrupted or even destroyed by an entity that is roughly 1/100th the size of an average bacteria.* It gives whole new meaning to the word “fragile”. And yet, at this time of year this takes on even more meaning for those of us belonging to The Way.
Our entire faith walk is built around the belief that our God took on flesh and made his dwelling among us. The apostle Paul puts it this way in in his letter to the church in Phillipi. “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” – Philippians 2:6-7. Now let’s think a little bit about the gravity of that. God, who existed fully in the Triune form before the world began, chose to empty himself of all Divine Power in order to become human…in order to reconcile us to Him. He chose to embrace all of our fragility in order to redeem our humanity. This is a whole other spin on the huge expansiveness of Advent.
To think that God would choose to experience all that we experience. That he would willingly suffer through the fragility of human pain, sickness, weakness, grief, etc. in order to show us what love made flesh looked like is beyond massive. This is the gospel. And to simply call this good news is like calling an 8.0 earthquake a slight trimmer. This is the greatest, most insane, logic-defying, life-giving, death defying, event the universe has ever, or will ever know. And the wonder behind it all is that He looked at us in our fragile state and wanted to do it. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6-8
I know what fragile things look like. I know what it feels like to be fragile. And I belong to a God who chose to become fragile to redeem His bride, the church and I can’t think of anything more amazing to celebrate this Christmas season.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus accessed on December 23 2014 at 7:36 AM