Saturday, December 18

Advent 2010

When God Is a Child


             This has been one of the most difficult topics I have attempted for the Advent booklet.  I have started with various approaches which have quickly bogged down in theologically technical Mysterium Tremendum type language and left me with what I was trying to say, sterile and dry.  Completely baffled, I began asking myself, "What is the problem here?  Why is this so hard?"  I think it is hard because we have great difficulty in thinking as God thinks.          

A few days ago, I had one of those "aha" moments while browsing books at Shaver Booksellers.  Not especially thinking at the time about what I might write for the Advent booklet, a quote by Mario Marazziti caught my eye - "If you are not loved, you do not exist."  This idea, although I could not clearly see the connection, somehow seemed to hit a very important target.

In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus tells his disciples, "Let the children come to me.  Don't stop them!  For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Apparently these children were drawn to him merely by sensing his open love and acceptance of them.

I want to tell you that I love our First Baptist congregation and I also love its temple of worship.  The open love and acceptance I feel there is what I'm drawn to, for that is what I need.  When we join together on Sunday mornings, I sense a special presence of the Spirit of God.  I suppose that is what all of us are there for - a time to be as children in the presence of a God who loves us so.

During his earthly life, God in Jesus lived in childlike relationship to his Father.  In spite of the overwhelming mystery, the Mysterium Tremendum of it all, one thing is clear, it was a matter of letting go of one's self.

"I tell you the truth,

unless you change and become like little children,

you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

(Matthew 18:3)

- Jim Flanagan



God, lead us and teach us to be fearless.  Everyone is fearful of something, even when we pretend like we're not.  We need your strength and guidance to lead us.  Show us how to worry less and believe more in your power.  Amen.

- Beth Wright


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