3rd Sunday in Advent

Image - virgin of the angels Bougeureau

That good.

The conversation in what we loosely call our “Sunday School class” this morning, after a sermon that challenged people to think about “who Jesus is for you,” started out on the physical ailments and progressive losses associated with aging, and moved on to the stresses and strains and psychological idiosyncrasies we collect around Christmas, and somehow from there to the historical Jesus and Jesus’ “message,” and somehow from there to Schleiermacher and the idea that Jesus had a “God consciousness” that was so perfect and complete that it was “the veritable existence of God in him.” (where is that, exactly?)

I said, there is something about the idea that Jesus really fulfilled the promise of humanity, in his relationship with God, that appeals to me. It makes how Jesus could be the “Redeemer in Christ” (Calvin’s words) make a kind of sense to me – that because of this incomparable divine-human relationship, for the sake of this tremendous good that is the life of Jesus, for the sake of this person who freely and continuously chooses communion with God, from beginning to end, over any/everything else, God makes the world and us, with all its costs and all the work it is going to take to make all the things that are going to go wrong go right or at least right-er. For the sake of that good.

I realized, as I was talking, that this is probably the closest I can come to saying “who Jesus is for me”: as I understand it, in the end, the reason I am here at all, the one who made the creation of humankind “worth it,” for God, and I believe and hope also for us – on the conviction that “he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love,” (Ephesians 1:4) and that eventually, this will come to fruition and we will know what this really means.

I don’t know whether or not that is “good theology.” But it’s my theology.

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About HAT

Heather Thiessen (HAT) is a happily married 60-ish, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church Sunday School teaching and choir singing, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out lesbian Hoosier mom. (There are no monochrome states.) From time to time she teaches religious studies to students at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky.
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