A priest and performer considers religion, the arts, and the often thin space between sacred and secular, church and culture, pulpit and pew.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Seventh Day of Christmas: December 31 (Christmas I)

On the seventh day of Christmas, God’s true Love gave to me…

…a picture of what our salvation might look like.

I’m always struck by the juxtaposition of the lesson from Isaiah (61:10-62:3) and the introduction to John’s gospel (1:1-18) that we read on this first Sunday after Christmas each year of the three lectionary cycles. John tells us that the true light which enlightens everyone was coming into the world, light that the darkness did not overcome. This is the Word, which was with God in the beginning; which in fact, was God; the Word that “became flesh and lived among us…full of grace and truth.” God the Word took on human flesh; we who are made in God’s image could see what true and perfect humanity looked like.

At the same time, Isaiah speaks of being clothed with the “garments of salvation” and the “robe of righteousness”. The prophet speaks of beautiful and hopeful promises made to Zion, to Jerusalem, to God’s people. If that salvation, that Word, became human in Jesus the Christ, is it possible that the garment of salvation looks like us? Not as we are, certainly; but as we should be, or could be, or might be, and one day, by the grace upon grace of God, will be?

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