Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas 1a - Hebrews 2:10-18

Descent from the Cross, 1435 by Rogier van der Weyden(1399-1464)
I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and the beginning of that peculiar tunnel vision fog of the flu. I know the pioneer of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings. I doubt very much I will be. The scriptures are silent on the subject but I imagine sharing our flesh and blood must have included a scratchy throat now and then. My good friend and colleague, The Reverend Ryan Mills (Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, Ct.) has been known to describe Jesus becoming like us in every respect in graphic terms that include bodily functions of which I will spare you. Suffice to say the mystery of the incarnation is in the how and not the what. He inhabited human flesh fully, subject to physical needs and limitations. Sharing our life he suffers our death, for us, ahead of us, instead of us. And while we still may be held in fear by the process of dying, death itself has lost its hold on us because the grave could not contain Jesus. More than that, since he became like us in every way we believe we will become like him. “Changed from glory into glory till in heaven we take our place; till we cast our crowns before him lost in wonder, love and praise” (Love Divine All Love’s Excelling) But why wait? When we are merciful and faithful despite the trials and temptations of our flesh and blood lives we are already like him in the ways that truly matter for this life and the next. That being said I don’t think Jesus would object if I medicate my sufferings this morning with a shot of Dayquil.

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