The baby and the cross.

by Richard on December 24, 2004

Rhys Morgan is on cracking form with this Christmas reflection.

Nicene Christianity is the religion of Christmas and Easter, the celebration of a Jesus who is either too young or too much in agony to shock us with his stunning message. The adult Christ, the adult Jesus who calls his followers to renounce wealth, power and violence is passed over in favour of the gurgling baby and the screaming victim. As such, Nicene Christianity is easily conscripted into a religion of convenience, with believers worshipping a gagged and glorified saviour who has nothing to say about how we use our money, how we treat our neighbours or whether or not we go to war. The ingredients of Jesus’s religion were enthusiasm, urgency, compassion and love. He cherished children, the sick and the despised. In his eyes, the return of a stray lamb to the sheepfold, the repentance of a tax collector or a harlot, caused more joy in heaven than the prosaic virtue of 99 just men.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


Eugene 12.26.04 at 3:41 am

Rhys has definitely hit the nail on the head. He has
also indirectly explained why people only go to church on
Christmas and Easter because they think it is merely the
baby and the cross.

I was reflecting on the Incarnation while doing the farm
chores. The Incarnation is about Jesus becoming part of
everydayness humanity (to borrow from Martin Heidegger).
Our lives are not solely birth and death, there is the dash
in between. Christianity is moving away from the ‘get your butt into heaven’ mentality that has gripped Christianity for most of the 20th century. I can say with humble confidence that I know where
I will be “if I die tonight,” but what about living everyday with my Lord and Saviour and best friend Jesus Christ?

When I was briefly with the fundamentalist Baptists I felt there transcendant theology had no bearing on my everyday life. As a Presbyterian my covenant tradition also places an emphasis on this side of life. We have been elected by God to make the world a better place. OK Methodists you can choose for yourselves, details, details.
The main thing is that my Christianity is everyday faith and life, common ground for a Presbyterian, Anglican, and Methodist.
Merry Christmas my brothers and sisters. Happy birthday Jesus.



rhys 12.29.04 at 12:31 pm

Happy Christmas and thanks for the kind words.

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