And then Mary said, “Man Oh Man. It’s a good life!” (Finding God at Home, Continued)

When the girls were in preschool, I overheard Anna telling Katherine the Christmas story. As a prop, she was pointing to a page she had colored in Sunday School. It showed a bright purple stable with the Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus flanked by a couple of pink and green cows. She had told the full composite story and was right at the part where Luke adds,  “And Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  But Anna’s version abandoned the standard Lukan ending for a surprise ending of her own.  Mary looked around the stable at the shepherds and the animals and the Kings and her husband and her little baby and said: “Man oh Man, it’s a good life!”

In the last few posts, I have written about God in Christ taking on our struggles when coming in human form.  I’m not alone in focusing mostly on the down side of the incarnation for God. We talk about God in Christ bearing our guilt, incurring the penalty for our sin, participating in our suffering, and taking on death. I believe that’s all true. But if this is the sum total of what it meant for God to come into human life and to walk on the earth, I would imagine that this was not a trip God was looking forward to.

We emphasize the suffering that Christ took on in human form, but maybe it was more than that.  Perhaps God came into the world not just to take on our suffering and death but also to embrace the gifts of our created life.  In Christ, God knew the comfort of a baby at its mother’s breast, the delight of a child running under the wide sky, the satisfaction of ordinary work well done, and the pleasures of good food and drink in the company of dear friends.  Having created the world with all its many gifts and having made humans in his own image, maybe God was eager to try it out for himself.

This is not to minimize the enormity and hardship of what it might possibly have meant for the second person of the Trinity to empty himself and to be born in human likeness. But maybe, just maybe, some small part of the second person of the Trinity was looking forward to the trip.  Surely there were moments in Christ’s life in Galilee when he could echo Mary’s sentiments from Anna’s peculiar birth narrative: “Man oh Man, it’s a good life.”

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kim Wilkinson on March 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Maybe so :). Good to hear your thoughts. Blessings!


  2. Posted by Fred Wideman on March 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    It is good to hear a faithful response to the goodness of life.


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