[Jesus] emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:7-8 (NRSV)
Advent is that time of year when we turn toward the beginnings of the life of Jesus. Granted, we can’t verify through other sources the events Luke and Matthew record, but Jesus came from some beginning, and the one we have seems to serve us well. The main fact is that God decided to invest himself in the life of a person we could hear and see. We call that incarnation. It’s a creative act of God.
The story of Jesus is much like the architect, owner, and builder of a new house or addition. God “humbled” himself, “becoming as human beings are.” He watched his son grow up and, like the patient builder, saw the project through to completion. Unlike the construction of a building though, I’m not convinced that God had Jesus’ life mapped out like a blueprint. I think there was some improvising along the way, and some collateral damage as well. The angels had to intervene to save Joseph and his family, but couldn’t protect the “innocents” from Herod’s sword. A stable had to do when the inn was filled. And some thirty-three years later in the garden, Jesus was searching to know the will of the Father.
But the project was completed, and some 2014 years later we’re still here talking about the beginning. We’re also reminded that our lives are also a building project, and God and the angels stand by ready to assist us with the plans, the construction, and, yes, the improvising. Bless this house.
God, thanks for the creative energy that comes from you, and help us to act in positive ways in this world. Amen.