God Up There
Read time: 3.5 Minutes
We offer our prayers to heaven. The warmth of candles and the fragrance of incense rises with our prayers. We look to God “up there”; after all, everyone knows, God is “up there”.
Yet, in the Christmas season, we anticipate the Incarnation of God into humanity. Christmas is about God coming down from “up there”.
The Incarnation is God meeting us, “down here”, as we are, in all our messy humanity, our fumblings and failings, our blunders and bewilderment.
God had been sending teachers and prophets for centuries. We would grasp a sliver of their message, mold it though our human understanding, and enshrine it into unbending Laws. In sincerely believing that would make God happy, we were sincerely wrong.
Jesus came down “from up there” to not only teach us, but to show us — to demonstrate what love is…to live THE Law of Love that God is.
Jesus didn’t descend from on high in majesty on angel’s wings. He was born into this world as all of us are born – through the blood and pain, yet indescribable joy of childbirth.
He grew and learned, and as we believe he was fully human, he ran and played and skinned His knee as children do. Mary and Joseph not only comforted Him, but as with all children, an occasional correction was no doubt also in order. As scripture says, “Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people” [Lk 2:52]
He taught, but more importantly, He lived God’s compassion. He embodied God’s redeeming-love. He enacted God’s saving-justice.
The Incarnation is God revealing Godself to us. To “see” Jesus, is to “see” God.
To begin to grasp how Mercy and Compassion walked the earth 2,000 years ago, requires the mind of a child: [Mt 19:14] Jesus said, ‘…do not stop [the little children] from coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.’ That’s not to be childish and immature, but to be open to new things because all things are new to a child.
God is always “new” to us, always revealing a new aspect, a new insight, like the many facets of a diamond there is always a new light reflecting at us.
The Incarnation is God saying that it is not only ok to be human, but we are reminded that in creating humanity “…God saw that it was very good”.
In coming “down from up there”… Eternity stepped into time.
In coming “down here”… God is saying that God IS “down here” with us.