We like things tied up in a nice, neat package – including the story of Christmas.
But is the story of Advent, the coming of Christ as the Light and Life into our dark and disordered world, really that neat?
We live in a culture, however, where we want “everything tied up in a nice box.” Whether it’s the ending of a movie, the conclusion to a novel, or the story of Christmas – we want God (and the ways of God) wrapped up in a nice, neat box, with a big, bright ribbon tied on top.
But that’s NOT the story of Christmas.
It Pulsates With
- A virgin overtaken by the Holy Spirit and bearing a child?
- A jealous king killing babies just to secure his own insecurity?
- Angels appearing to shepherds at night?
- God putting on skin and coming to earth as a human?
- Three “wise men” miraculously following a star and finding a messiah?
- A baby born in a stable and sleeping in a manger who later becomes a king?
Now that’s a lot of mystery!
Yet, sometimes, much of our Evangelical theology seems…Too processed. Too packaged. Too perfect.
It feels like we’ve removed much of the mystery.
We’ve become uncomfortable with the unexplainable. We’ve secularized the sacred. We’ve packaged the invisible. We’ve domesticated the drama. We’ve merchandized the miraculous. We’ve sanitized the supernatural. We’ve humanized the divine.
My appeal to return to mystery and wonder isn’t a plea for an attitude of anti-intelligence in the Church. We don’t need more bad theology or stupid ways of thinking. We have enough of that.
But after we’ve diced it, sliced it, parsed it, debated it, outlined it, preached it, and tried to explain it…
Let’s step back and once again embrace the mystery and the wonder of it all.
Ken L Roberts