Fourteen years ago today, theologian and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann prayed this prayer:
"God hidden from us in your myriad verbs,
we confess you where we do not see you:
in many ways of newness.
We do not see you, but we dare to name you
by our best names--
we name you father and mother,
we make you lord and saviour,
we praise you giver and lover.
In our daring naming of you and in our very glimpsing,
we know you are beyond us
refusing all our manufactured labels.
You are known in hiddenness,
powerful in suffering,
whole in woundedness
And we are yours...all of us...gladly. Amen."
(December 8, 1998: Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, p.44)
The paradox of the incarnation is that God has chosen to reveal power in weakness. Jesus comes to us not as a liberator or as a king, but as a child and as a friend. Herein lies the mystery of the paradox: it is by his weakness, by his pain, that Jesus liberates us and thereby reigns over us. By God's grace, Christ comes to us. By God's grace, we belong.
"Joy to the world... let earth receive her king."