Chapter 17 this week is a bit more hopeful than last week's chapter with King Herod. This is the chapter that explains how God works in the middle of power hungry souls like Herod, and the downward spiral of an Empire built on "safety, security and stability" at the continual cost of human sacrifices "for the greater good." This chapter responds to that notion, and offers a different kind of hope. Hope not based on calculated management by the powerful, but rooted in the birth of our children filled with the Spirit of God. Regardless of how we view baby Jesus as human or divine (or a mysterious mixture of both), all of us can't help but see God's hope and Spirit alive in newborns. Even while their exhausting for parents and family, babies bring a joy, hope, and marvel that few things do. Love is drawn out of us, even out of complete strangers. Imagine if we could spend a few moments holding the babies of our perceived "enemies." Imagine if Christmas was filled with the photos of babies from all across the globe, rich or poor, male or female. Maybe God's Spirit would surprise us. Maybe we'd be surprised by God's love that we don't have to create, but that we receive just by being alive and witnessing new life. It's contagious. I pray that we all remember the birth of Christ this Christmas, but I also pray that each of us get to hold a baby sometime this holiday season :-).
Read this Chapter in McLaren to learn more about the adults that didn't have to be Kings, emperors or soldiers to bring salvation that dwarfs the shallow salvation of palaces, city walls and temples.
Like last week's reading, this chapter connects with:
Contact Pastor Theda to participate in a theme based small group this year.