Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sweet Little Baby Jesus Boy

Oh, how much easier life would seem if He had just remained sweet little baby Jesus boy ... had never grown up in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man ... had never made life-shattering challenges to our selfishness ... had never lived them out perfectly and died to capstone them and lived again to conquer sin and death for all time.

But there He is, big as Life, standing in our Way, speaking the Truth and keeping us from the self we want to be and achieve and accumulate and perish as.

Called upon as Son of God and Man to cause the rising and falling of many, and piercing our souls with His singular sword also.

If we could just get over Him, get under Him, get around Him, get through Him somehow ... we could live the way we wanted to and die stuffed full of ourselves.

And we can't.

All that's left for us is to "get" Him; try to comprehend Him; wrap our heads and hearts and souls and arms around Him ... beg for mercy from His terrible, irresistible perfection and find perfect love there.

Sweet little baby Jesus boy.

Won't stay in the box of a manger. Won't stay in the box of a tomb. Won't stay in the box of Christmas decorations that we'd like to keep Him in for the other 364 days of each year.

Won't stay out of our lives, because He loves us too much to let us live only for ourselves and die miserably for nothing at all.

The associate minister at my church is right:

This Child is Dangerous.


Chad said...

He's not a very tame lion is he?

Keith Brenton said...

But he's good.

He's the king, I tell you!

preacherman said...

Wonderful post Keith.
I hope and pray that your family have a wonderful holidays.

laymond said...

Keith, would you do a favor? read Proverbs 8 and give us your opinion.

Keith Brenton said...

Laymond, I think Proverbs 8 is a poem. The author personifies Wisdom as a person; a woman. Jesus obviously knew of Proverbs 8 and approved of the metaphor (Luke 7:35.

There are too many alternate renderings of v.22 to conclude positively that there is an angel of wisdom (or goddess Sophia, as the Gnostic works insist). You really have to read into it - with a very literal reading - to reach such a conclusion. And, as I say, it's a poem. As a general rule, you don't read poems literally - the way you would read law or science or a set of instructions for putting together a swingset.

laymond said...

In other words Proverbs is another example of everything written in the bible, can't be accepted as the absolute truth, and God didn't inspire all writers. Is that what you are saying.
It has nothing to do with the birth of wisdom/the word.
It is just a fictional poem.
I was talking to a person who saw it as the birth of God's first creation.

Keith Brenton said...

Proverbs 8 can be fictional yet still inspired, I'd say ... Just like a parable told by Jesus, for instance. It still communicates truth, but it may not me meant to communicate literal truth (that Wisdom is an actual created being).

laymond said...

Keith, I have been thinking about what you said, and it does make sense, but can you explain why John 1 is supposed to be taken literally, while Proverbs 8 is not. they sure seem similar. as a matter of fact Prov. 8 gives a lot more information.

Keith Brenton said...

Laymond, my quick answer would be author's intent. John's stated intention is to testify to Jesus as Christ, Word, Son of God, Savior (John 1:14-18; 21:24-25). The intention of Proverbs largely seems to be the transmission of human - though inspired - wisdom from one generation to the next (Proverbs 1:8; 4:1; 4:10; 4:20; 5:1; 5:7; 7:24; 8:32; 13:1; 19:27; 23:19).

It's possible that Proverbs is a collection of writings with many more than a single author (hence several attributions in 1:1; 10:1 25:1) with the meaning of the words "of Solomon" translated as "like those of Solomon." Still, throughout it, wisdom is spoken of as a gracious woman (1:20; 4:5-9; 14:33). It's a consistent metaphor throughout. But it is a metaphor.

Jesus is a person, the Son of God.

laymond said...

you said, "Jesus is a person, the Son of God."

Keith is God a person?

Keith Brenton said...


laymond said...

Then why do people say God is three persons?

Keith Brenton said...

I have this overwhelming sense of déjà by right now, laymond...!