by Joy Lenton
How is light revealed when godliness lies concealed? A tiny newborn baby seems too small to bear the weight of glory concealed within. We discover, little by little, in the unfolding of His story in our history, as Jesus reveals wisdom beyond His years and grows to adult maturity.
It is seen through the living out of His divine calling via ministry, miracles and mystery, through scorn, mockery, derision and misunderstanding from others. It remains unshaken, despite multiple flesh wounds inflicted on Him from harsh skin flaying, a thorn-pierced head, speared side and nail-stretched limbs receiving the searing cut of crucifixion.
It’s in love bleeding out like blood, a humble, servant heart, willing, sacrificial surrender and dying to self that Christ’s true identity is revealed. We are awe-struck by God’s amazing love revealed in sacrifice, and we also face the daily challenge of dying to self in living for Christ, as we seek to yield to God’s will rather than our own.
In suffering the numerous scars etched into our lives by painful experience, we slowly begin to leak Jesus in Holy Spirit-enabled bearing up, patient endurance and surrender to a higher power. Every wound we receive internally, each broken part of our shattered lives and hurting hearts can become a beautiful thing whereby the grace of God filters through like sunlight-dappled leaves.
Because light reflects best from souls honed and polished like diamonds—the formerly dark carbon now glinting bright with glory rays, reflecting splinters of God’s Light as it radiates strong from broken lives made new in Jesus.
Artlessness of human flesh contains
pure animation of art and faith
as God-Creator now curates himself
in mankind’s guise, wearing his
divinity gossamer-fine, a Light
barely perceptible to our eyes
Bathed in beauty from another
realm—covered too in ache
of earth, while break of blood
spills freely at his birth
and pain itself paves the way
for entrance of holy Mystery
Our universe unearthed straight
to the heart, as its beating pulse
takes on an infant’s rhythmic
rigour. Life himself made manifest
when godliness inhabits flesh, with
sacred and secular joined flush together
Like John the Baptist, we, too, can readily point people to the One who lances, binds up and heals our deepest wounds, offers comfort and deep soul solace, paves a pathway through pain and provides eternal Hope while we battle in the here and now. We make our Saviour manifest by being Jesus-with-skin-on for others, bearing their burdens, coming alongside to offer encouragement, comfort and prayer, a hand to hold and a soul to confide in.
The brightness of Jesus shines forth like a welcoming beacon, a lighthouse for the drowning, a way-station for weary travellers along life’s dusty highway. It’s a light that can never be extinguished, one we carry like faltering candlewicks within, knowing it glows beyond our awareness or ability to see it.
Advent is an invitation to taste this deep Mystery, to hold on to the flickering light within as we seek a closer encounter with the Light and Love of Christ Himself, being mindful of why He came while we celebrate all it means to us today.
“And we need images and symbols to help us understand the mystery of God’s love for us. Incarnation’s revelation is a song to be sung, a poem to be recited, a new language to be ‘learned by heart’” – ‘Travelling Light: Your Journey to Wholeness – A Book of Breathers to Inspire You Along The Way’ – Daniel O’Leary
This post is part of our reflections for Advent 2016.