Sunday, December 15, 2013
Leaving Lemons for the Lord
Somebody said, "A grapefruit is a lemon that had an opportunity."
Dissimilarly, I've also heard too many people are like lemons; when squeezed, they pour out their sour insides.
This season comes to mind with sooooooo many sour squeezings squeezing out what it's/He's all about.
God knows we've come a long way from how silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given...
Holly for holy has made this season sooooooo hollow for soooooo many; leaving a sour taste in the spirit.
Too many artificial trees pretending authentic Christmas spirit.
Continuing to mix metaphors, people who get it/Him turn their lemons into lemonade; overcoming all of the distractions and detours from the divine reason for the season.
People get it/Him by exiting Macy's and embracing a manger.
People get it/Him by leaving the sour lemons of this life for the sweet refreshments of intimacy with the Lord; becoming increasingly blessed while less and less stressed.
That real not ornamental manger scene comes to mind.
Unlike latter gem-studded versions in marble, olivewood, and other expensively luminous luxuries, that real manger scene had only one focus: "To us is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord."
While that doesn't seem to be existentially enough for our currently commercialized and tinseled tastes, the real enfleshed God in rag-wearing-cow-trough-lying baby Jesus was eternally enough for shepherds, angels, and magi with no respect to aesthetic traditions or anticipated messianicalisms.
The real-not-traditionally-expected-or-contemporarily-tainted-from-the-original God-in-Son-attested-by-Spirit historical moment brings these sentences from Gregory Boyd's correspondence with an agnostic father to mind (Letters from a Skeptic); as the real Jesus who delivers from the meanness, madness, and miseries of life in the modern world is distinguished from the imagined/reimagined/traditional/made-up version who causes so much distaste/distance from the authentically hungry and thirsty for Someone better: "Only the Gospel dares to proclaim that God enters smack-dab into the middle of the hell we create. Only the Gospel dares to proclaim that God was born a baby in a bloody, crap-filled stable, that He lived a life befriending the prostitutes and lepers no one else would befriend, and that He suffered, firsthand, the hellish depth of all that is nightmarish in human existence. Only the Gospel portrait of God makes sense of the contradictory fact that the world is at once so beautiful and so ugly...And through His participation in our pain, He wants to redeem it. He wants to bring about whatever healing is possible to you, and to me, and to all involved."
Why anyone would trade the real for the imagined/reimagined/traditional/made-up version so untrue to Holy Scripture is mind-numbing/boggling/defying as well as damning.
So back to Kung to "discover what...[was]...originally meant, before it was covered with the dust and debris of two thousand years...not another gospel, but the same ancient gospel rediscovered for today!"
That's where an angel's birth announcement came/comes in to a 13-16 year old cleaning girl/virgin: "Nothing is impossible with God."
That's where Mary's acceptance of the divine incarnational intention came/comes in: "I am God's servant; so let it be to me as He has willed."
That's where shepherds' awe and angelic chorus confirm the down to earth birth of divinity enabling eternal elevation with no respect to color, class, or culture: "A Savior, Christ the Lord, has come to us...Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!"
That's where Simeon exclaims everyone's greatest fear was/is exorcised by the Mighty God in a manger predestined to liberate to ultimate paradise as crucified to risen to ever-reigning Christ: "I'm no longer afraid to die! I have a Savior! I've got Jesus! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"
That's where Magi demonstrate the only appropriate response to such gospel: "They fell down and worshipped Him."
The real Christmas.
We can have a merry Christmas.
Just leave the lemons for the sourpusses.
Blessings and Love!