Make the path straight!

There is some discussion whether the birth of Jesus actually happened the way described in the Christian Bible. Out of four narratives, only two describe an actual “birth”. The details in those two narratives of Jesus’s birth are far apart. But here is the point. All four narratives describe the fact that the person Jesus was God-come-down. By what he did, the way he acted towards people, and the things he said could only be accomplished by God. Like healing the blind, casting out the demons of leprosy, offering forgiveness, to name a few, were and are known to be acts of God. Let it be said, then, that in Jesus, human beings encountered God present in their lives.

Up to that point, God had been involved in the lives of people. That was clear. Prophets reminded people of God’s activity in their lives. Holy men and Holy women spoke often of and gave witness to God’s power. But in Jesus, the God who was and is still present in the lives of Jewish people was present now in a very real personal way in Jesus. In Jesus, God’s presence was face to face; the encounter with God was an eye level experience. There. God-come-down. To You. For You.

This is still true today. God can move in people’s lives. I have seen this over and over. The Spirit of God in Jesus continues as a real possibility in our lives. When people say “may Jesus be born in your heart” what they mean is be open inside; make space for grace; know that the same God who revealed God’s presence in Jesus can do the same thing in each person, including you. This does not make us God or Jesus. It does give us that sense that we mean something to God and that we will never be alone.

But we have to get out of the way. As the ancient prophet said, we must “make the path straight.” In other words get out of the way. Let God dwell in us; let God enter our lives right where we are. Do this by moving away from the way we think God should act or be towards us. Enter into the mysterious presence of the God who – as Jesus revealed—is and wants to continue in a personal relationship with each of us. And that includes you.

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