I find myself reaching back to remember once-familiar words or concepts now almost forgotten. I think to ask someone and then remember that those who might recall have entered another life and the words have not been remembered. For one such word I can only replace what once was a vital concept in a dying language with a hyphenated compilation of English words: something like, treating-a-representation-of-a-living-being-as-if-it-were-alive-and-related-to-you. It is a cultural commitment that enables spiritual formation of a sacred value.

Dolls are never left undressed, scattered, or thrown into a box. Toy horses or animals do not lie about or get left outside. At the end of play, certainly at the end of the day, everything, everybody, is cleaned, clothed, and put to rest, covered and warm. When children awake, they “awaken” the toys.

A toy, a learning tool, is treated as part of the family, so that from the time we can walk, we do not understand ourselves to be more important than those with whom we have relationship. There is nobody to whom we are not related. We participate in the relational care of all that God holds sacred.

The Word, this Child-of-the-God-Who-Is-Humble, our text today describes enters into the vulnerability of circumstance and human response by consenting to being born. This Child-of-the-God-Who-Is-Humble is the physical reality of the character of God. This Child-of-the-God-Who-Is-Humble is born related to everybody. When is the Incarnation? Is it the moment of birth? Or when the child assumes the loving relational care of all whom God holds sacred?

You-Who-Chose-and-Chooses to be family with your creation, You did not think yourself More important than those With whom you have relationship. You covered us and then crawled inside.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 2:13-23

1 Comment
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
December 23–29, 2019
Scripture Overview

This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Isaiah reminds us that all that God does, including the sending of a Savior, flows from God’s compassion and steadfast love. The psalmist declares that from the angels in heaven to the works of creation to all the kings and peoples of the earth, all should praise the exalted name of God. The “horn” is a metaphor used elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures that is traditionally interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the Messiah. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Christ fully partakes of our human nature so that he would understand our weakness and fully execute his role as our high priest. Matthew interprets through prophecy the perilous early travels of the young Jesus.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 63:7-9. How has God’s presence saved you?
Read Psalm 148. How can you praise God for the glory of creation around you in your daily life?
Read Hebrews 2:10-18. How does your relationship with the Child-of-God-Who-Is-Humble help you understand yourself as related to all other human beings?
Read Matthew 2:13-23. How has your church or faith community made the choice to act in the best interest of the institution rather than to follow God’s way of humility?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.