January 11, 2008


Part of me is glad that the Christmas season ends this weekend; it has really worn me out. On the other hand, it has been a chance for rich reflection.

To me, Christmas comes head on at the one of the basic questions that we ask ourselves and each other, "what the heck can you possibly mean by 'God'?" What is the content of that the utterance, "God"?

You can say that God is the Creator, the maker of heaven and earth, but that's just a description of what God does. And as much as our culture tries to identify us with our works, who we are in ourselves is something more than what we do.

So then you can say that God is the Holy Trinity, trying to say something intelligible about how God is a Dynamism, a Loving Activity with distinct moments interacting with human history, but that doesn't get easily at something the heart can grab.

But Christmas gets it. It answers the question, what is God like? What is his personality, his style, if you will. And there's the answer. God is like a little baby, born to young, inexperienced parents, on the run, out in the cold, away from home. To get one's heart around the truth that this vulnerable baby is the incarnation of the Ground and Principle of all that is, that is the paradox, challenge, and good news of Christianity.

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