Reality Check

01/26/2011

"…as the strange kings fade into a far country and the mountains resound no more with the feet of the shepherds; and only the night and the cavern lie in fold upon fold over something more human than humanity." --G.K. Chesterton

“More human than humanity.” Did you ever think of Jesus like that? It's true, you know—he was the only perfect human that ever lived. And while it's difficult for us to process what it means to be fully God and fully human at the same time, it's downright tragic that we gloss over the humanity for our Lord in our celebration of his divinity. This walking, talking, card-carrying Trinity member came to us to show us the kind of person we should aspire to be. We already had the laws of Moses and other inspired words of God, but clearly that wasn't enough. And still we misunderstand.

John Eldredge writes a wonderful take on this in his blog entry “Baby Jesus Had Poopy Diapers” (click on the title to read the whole article). After visiting the National Gallery in London, he writes:

           I did not see one portrait of Christ, in all the famous works of him, that came anywhere close to depicting Jesus as he really is. Not one.

            They are all wispy, pale Jesus, looking haunted, a ghost-like figure floating along through life making vague gestures and even vaguer statements. The Nativity scenes were particularly ridiculous. The classic art depicting the infant themes now repeated on Christmas cards and in the creche scenes displayed in churches and on suburban coffee tables portrays a rather mature baby, very white, radiantly clean as no baby is ever clean, arms outstretched to reassure the nervous adults around him, intelligent, without need, halo glowing, conscious with an adult consciousness. Superbaby.

            This infant clearly never pooped his diapers. He looks ready to take up the Prime Minister-ship.

It is not disrespectful to think of Jesus in these terms. Wasn't that the point? Who better to intercede for us than someone who has experienced all the hurt that the world has to offer?

The fullness of Christ is uncontainable but, like Peter in our last devotional, we try to put him in a box. He's a king!...No, he's a dude!...No, he's 1/3 of the Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ is all those things and so much more! Look closely at his human life because without that example we are a flock wandering aimlessly across a barren landscape. Read closely his words and parables. Know that in an unreal world he is the reality that is, was, and is to come. There is no pain you will ever have that Jesus has not felt. Talk to him about yours today and know that he will understand.

 

 

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