Word made flesh:
Peaches the donkey poops and the Trinity kids SCREAM. Eventually, after coaxing we get them to come join the animals, and then can’t tear them away from the scene.
Family Christmas Service last night
Kids always help me tell the story of the nativity.
As there were several that were in the Live nativity, I asked them questions.
Trying to help them in telling the story, we talked about who was born, and the little ones said, The Baby Jesus!
Then I talked about the shepherds and asked who were shepherds in our live nativity. I asked them who came to speak to the shepherds.
Victoria, who played one of the angels, right away said, the News reporters! (they had been interviewed by NY1! We are STILL trying to get a copy of that interview.)
Word made flesh.
Became real for them on that day.
Ivy Schultz/Tadd Spering talked about how honored they were to be asked and allowed to portray the Holy Family on that day.
One of the cutest scenes for me, captured on someone’s camera, was when the little shepherd, Hudson (with his knit cap under his shepherd’s head gear to keep warm) at one point sat on the chair and Mom/Ivy/Mary, gave little Elise (who was our Baby Jesus) to her big brother to hold. The littlest shepherd was holding the Baby Jesus.
Word made flesh that day for them.
Natalia Paruz, one of our shepherds here at Trinity – our historian, the one who updates our Facebook page every single day, plays the handbells and teaches handbells, but you might know her as The Saw Lady –
Played a shepherd at the Live Nativity. (Last year she appeared in her first ever Christmas Pageant as an angel with these INCREDIBLE wings). Not only was her first appearance in a Christmas pageant, it was her first being near a Christmas pageant. Natalia is Jewish, and a shepherd here at Trinity as a part of our wondrous diversity!
Natalia helped coordinate the Live Nativity along with Susan Stoderl, our Office administrator. This year she also portrayed a shepherd, cause she wanted to be close to the animals.
In her own reflection to the news media, she said that of all participants in the nativity, she might be the only one who might have had relatives that were, if not shepherds on the hillside that night, might have lived near Bethlehem. Natalia’s family is connected closely with ancient Israel, of the time of Jesus. (her father today lives in a senior facility in Israel.)
Word made flesh for her that day.
This One, who was at the creation of the universe and all there is, as John tells us in today’s gospel, truly DID become flesh, become one of us and one with us.
To who that God is not a distant being looking down from on high to see what we will do with God’s creation.
God NEVER did that – was ALWAYS working with the chosen ones, with Noah, Abraham and Sarah, the prophets, the kings, his people of old.
But in Jesus, the Baby of Bethlehem, this was God doing something new.
This was GOD – GOD himself, coming as a baby to live, to experience life as we experience it, and to die –yes, even as we experience death in our lives.
Word made FLESH!
But in that becoming flesh, in that incarnation – which is the theological term we use – something changed. For when God became us, then we become God’s in a new and different way. So that, what, as Jesus has – we get.
On Easter Day, Jesus came back to life, never to die again.
And because he is God, and became one of us and one with us,
WE GET THAT TOO!
Our death is not the end. Not final.
The Word is spoken over us and to us and in us:
YOU ARE MINE. FOREVER. NO ONE CAN SNATCH YOU AWAY FROM ME.
I LOVE YOU. FOREVER. NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU.
I GIVE YOU LIFE. FOREVER.
That is what it means:
Word becoming flesh.
It means life
It means love
It means a new reality
It means . . .
A NEW Word spoken over us and about us and in us.
It means we are GOD’S forever!