Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent 4, Year A, Matthew 1:18-25, Spirit Child

"She was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit."

That Jesus was born of Mary emphasized two major theological points about Jesus, points which set him apart from all others.

First, that this One we confess to be God, nevertheless was born of Mary, a human mother, and was fully human as we are.

Second, that this One we confess to be human, nevertheless was born from above, conceived by the Holy Spirit, with God as his Father.

The Church has maintained in this way the absolute uniqueness of who Jesus is, Son of God, Son of Man.  And  yet there is another truth.  He is our Brother.

Not a half brother.  A Brother.  For this reason we too are called "Children of God."

This is not blasphemous.  For each Child is in fact conceived of the Holy Spirit, that breath of God apart from which there is no life.  And though we have earthly parents, God, our Creator, is in truth our Father.

I believe that this relationship with our Father begins in creation, not redemption.  In spite of the use of the image in certain passages of scripture, and often in our Baptismal theology, we are not adopted by God.  We are created by God.  Born of the Holy Spirit.  Children of God.

And of us, it can also be said that we have two natures.  We are both descended from Adam, according to the flesh.  Fully human in every way.  But also, our lives are rooted in God, born in his image, with divinity's spark the very source of our life.  

"Child of God, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ, forever."

Jesus, born of the flesh, and of the Spirit.  Absolutely unique?  No, our Brother.  

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