Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent: The Cast

When God came in the flesh, the incarnation could have happened in many different ways. God chose a curious cast of players. Also chosen were some people not to be included.

The religious powers of the day did not even know about God's arrival. The Jewish leaders were oblivious. They were not included in the cast.

The political powers of the day only knew of the arrival of God indirectly through the Magi. And when the political powers learned of the arrival of God in the forma of a baby, there was not disbelief or dismissal - the was fear. Herod decided to kill all babies just in case he missed out killing the God-baby.

The two classes of the most privileged people were ignorant or afraid of the God-baby. Why would God not come to be incarnated in political or religious power and privilege? There is much to be I'd for the way God entered the world. The birth of Jesus anticipated the ministry of Jesus.

So, excluded we're the privileged, but who was included?

Mary is clearly central to the story - a woman. Gender redemption

Joseph was honorable, but of little means. Not enough money or influence to even get a hotel room. Economic redemption.

Shepherds were a motley bunch - a tolerated class. Class redemption.

Magi were not even believers in God. They were most certainly "other" when it came to religion. They were astrologers. And yet God talked to them in a way they understood. God came to them on their terms, but at the same time shared a message that challenged their terms. Religious redemption.

The Magi were also "other" ethnically. Ethnic reconciliation.

So, even in the way in which God came to humans as a human, the goal appears evident that privilege systems developed by humans were not the pathway God chose to use while at the same time, the was significant effort at indicating that the oppressed, the others, the dismissed were to have access. The ministry of Jesus began before his birth.

The cast of Advent anticipated the trajectory of followers over a couple thousand years and thousands of years to come.

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