You Do Not Need to Bring Christ Down

The NativityDuring the Christmas season, we celebrate the truth that God has come to us in the form of a little, human baby, ‘Emmanuel.’

Yet, for tall the talk about ‘God with us,’ we still have this notion that God is ‘out there,’ ‘watching us from a distance,’ and not right here, right now, with us.

God didn’t draw near to us only to remove the Divine Presence from us when Jesus returned to heaven. On the contrary: God is with us now.

Richard Rohr writes:

Paul, a good Jew, quotes Deuteronomy, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Romans 10:8), and adds a challenge that I would repeat today, “Do not tell yourself that you have to bring Christ down!” (10:6). He knew that God had overcome the human-divine gap in the Christ Mystery. The issues of space and time have been overcome once and for all. God is here, not there.

The mystery of the Incarnation is precisely the repositioning of God in the material world once and forever. Continual top-down religion often creates very passive, and even passive-dependent and passive-aggressive Christians. I know this as a Catholic priest for over 40 years. Bottom-up, or incarnational religion, offers a God we can experience for ourselves. We have nothing to fight or prove, just something to know for ourselves. This is what we are about to celebrate at Christmas.

(from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, p. 121)

May the awareness of Emmanuel every moment of every day bring you a deep sense of hope, peace, joy and love this Christmas.

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