I recently saw a Facebook post that sparked something deep in me. It’s pictured here:
I don’t know the ultimate answer. I’m sure the answer isn’t reducible to a list of reasons. But, when I read that question my mind was drawn to two quotes that I thought would compliment your journey towards learning more about Christ so I want to share them today with some context to why I think they’re relevant to this great question.
First, the Christmas story of sweet little baby Jesus and all that we’ve grown up with; I have to say it is a prolific story because we know who that baby is, and all he’ll come to represent. It’s beautiful absurdity! And in a sense it must by necessity be an absurdity because of the default of life is loony.
Think about it, life is the ultimate crazy story. If you don’t think that life is in a sense absurd then you’re probably crazy as you float through space on a rock. Just admit the harsh truth and tragedy of it all and come out the loony bin. The inmates run the prison anyways, so you might as well join us…I digress and am butchering the metaphors here. I apologize…
Like I was saying, if all of life is going to hinge on a person and/or an epoch, it (or that person) has to stick out and exhaust the competition (life and its craziness) of its power. Can you think of a better contender than sweet 8 pounds 6 ounce baby Jesus?
Second, the whole of the common life kind of makes a demand of its participants: die in the absurdity. If God is going to participate in his creation, in this reality that he’s made mind you, he would be the ultimate hypocrite to not join in our senseless and hopeless state in some profound ways. And this is where the first quote that came to mind becomes a point of direction and help.
“We’re beings toward death, we’re … two-legged, linguistically-conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose body will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms.”
The fact that life in its most basic level is inescapably macabre and absurd means any point in history, or person, or even divinity that tries to compete to transcend the human condition to become an anchor point of sense and hope has to exhaust the universe of its scale of absurdity and improbabilities. But the little baby Jesus, in all his ancient stable filth flies on a spec of dust, in front of our historical eyes, in an immeasurable universe and lets his baby cries reverberate with equal absurdity: he will be heard beyond the stable, beyond the cross, beyond the tomb, beyond his ascension, beyond his religion. And he was. He is.
The second quote sums up the beginning of an answer to our original question:“Christianity is completely and entirely and utterly hope.” -Jurgen Moltmann
How much hope did that baby have? How much hope he must have contained!
Sometimes Facebook is not so bad.