Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thoughts on the Euangelios

The incarnation shocked humanity. Never before in the history of religion had divinity shrunk to infancy. The magic of the event terrified the world. The God of the universe who created woman, impregnated a common peasant girl and grew from embryo to infant in the womb that He had molded with His own hands. The girl who carried Yahweh in her belly, who was scoffed and mocked by the world of the time and treated as a sinner and outcast, journeyed to Jerusalem with her faithful husband, and, being refused even by the country inn, was forced to birth the Son of God underground. 'In the riddle of Bethlehem it was heaven that was under the earth,' Chesterton states. The Voice of Elohim became the most vulnerable creature in our world––a new-born baby, crying in the arms of a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old girl, whose tiny arms couldn't reach up to touch the noses of the cattle that He had spoken into existence. Yahweh came to earth, and suddenly the family that God had instituted in the beginning was turned upside down, for the mother and father became the children of their Son, and their son was their Father and Creator. And they called His name Jesus.

Jesus' life was hounded from the beginning. After being anointed by the Magi, confirmed by Anna and Simeon, praised by the angels, and worshipped by the shepherds, Joseph, following the command of God, the father of his adopted child, escaped to Egypt with the precious mother and baby to escape Herod's wrath. The age-old war of the demons against children asserted itself once more in a mad effort to kill the Child, but was thwarted by a simple carpenter's faithfulness to God.

Jesus grew up, and threw off the stagnant and sinful customs of the time. Though He was the most intelligent and promising students in the educational system, and wanted as a disciple by the leading rabbis of the day, He rejected the complacency and legalism of the priests and stayed at home to learn the trade of a simple carpenter until His time came. And then the Son of God asserted Himself.

He gathered the outcasts to Himself. He insulted the leading figures of the day. He ransacked the false religion pervading the Temple. He forgave the sins of people who faithed in His Father. He called Himself the ancestor of Abraham. He healed the sick. He outsmarted the scribes. He was faithful to His Father. He loved purely. He gave freely. He professed to be the Son of God. He spoke words of truth that were shocking to the darkness of that time, and yet conquered the barbarian sinfulness of the time, and have forever resurrected throughout history, and are still living and speaking today. For they are words of universal and timeless truth. The world will try to take some of Him and leave the rest, but He was the Man who encompassed all Truth, all Holiness, all Power, all Righteousness, all Faithfulness, all Love.

There have been many philosophers in the history of this world, but the smarter they were the more they knew that they were not a god. Yet Jesus spoke words of intelligence and verity, and He proclaimed Himself to be God. He was a Man directly distinct from the sophists and philosophers of His time, a Man who had nothing to do with the wild and distorted mythologies and hero-worship of the time. And yet He complemented both sides. He was a philosopher, He was a hero, His life was a Story, but a true one. He vanquished the lies of the World, and rose up as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

His creed spread like wildfire throughout the world, and the only people groups that would have none of Him were the Middle-Eastern Muslims and the Hindus and Buddhists of Asia. And these are the two countries that are living examples of stagnancy. The West has blossomed, grown, died, and resurrected as the Flower of Christendom, but Asia and the Middle-East are too old to die.

In fact, the modern example of the ancient war between mythology and philosophy are the creeds of Asia. Their worship is why Asia is infirm, stale, and oppressed, whereas the West is equally as historical, but has experienced the resurrection of life that is following Christ. For Christianity is the only religion that is the key which fits the questions of this world. It is Life, and it is like life. It embraces life when Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Fatalism, Optimism, Mythology, and Atheism all refuse to be intellectually honest and choose to strive to negate certain aspects of life in order to hold on to their mistaken ideals. Christianity bridges all these religions because it is a story and it is a true story. It is the freedom that comes from the free-will which is the essence of a story, the truth which is the longing of our intellects, and the divine supremacy of God which satisfies the yearning in our soul to know our Creator.

Islam, too, is a stagnant religion. Islam and Christianity are similar in the fact that they are the only monotheistic religions stemming from Abraham, but in very little else. For where Islam worships a solitary and therefore self-centered and uncharitable god, without even the ability to love because he is lonely, Christianity worships the Triune God. He is the God that is the embodiment of the Family. He is the essence of power, and yet is wholly selfless because the Son, the Father, and the Holy Ghost are forever loving each other and the world in Sacred Communion.

For just as the mythology and philosophy in Asia is too tolerant to die, and the selfishness and hate of Islam is too bitter to die, Christianity is continually experiencing rebirth. Over and over again, the Faith has been so diluted as to die, but it has always risen again in new power at the pivotal moment. We worship the God who rose from the grave, and who has given us the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 comment:

Abby said...

Just a heads up, I'm now on Facebook, so you can now message me.

Hope you are doing well!