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Netpositive Radio Logo Net positive Radio One Of Us by John van de Laar ©2009 Saredise What if God was one of us?”

This question was asked by rock singer Joan
Osborn a few years ago in her hit song. Whether
she knew what she was singing or not, the
essence of the Christmas message is exactly
that. As Matthew explains:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will
give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel,
which means 'God is with us.'” Matthew 1:21-23

The Involved God

It is all too easy to fall into the view that God is
outside of our world, sitting in some undisclosed
location beyond space and time, just waiting to
come rushing in when the need arises. The
incarnation is often viewed this way, as if God
was removed from the universe and just popped
in for a visit two thousand years ago.

But, the Scriptures give us a very different picture.
God is with us – present, involved, immersed in
the universe God has made and the creatures that
inhabit it. And this “with-us-ness” is not a new
thing. It has been true from all eternity – as Paul
makes clear (see Ephesians 1:4).

The Church Calendar – and the worship that is
guided by it – is designed to remind us of God's
“with-us-ness”. As we celebrate the Christ-Child,
we learn again that God is, and always has been,
completely present to us – whatever we may have
to endure. So, it is crucial at this time, that our
prayers and songs lead us away from the idea
that God is separate from us and back to the truth
of Christmas - “God is with us”.

The Embodied God

But, the Gospel message goes even further than
this. God “with us” is also “one of us”. God has
chosen to be embodied in flesh, to share with
us all that makes us human, to carry our nature
in God's own being. What an amazing gift of
dignity and grace this is. What a challenge to
value our flesh as God does – not as something
to ignore or deny, but to embrace, and to use
as a way to connect with God and to reflect
God's character and purpose.

Our worship enables us to do this work, too. In
the Sacrament of Communion, the act of using
our bodies to eat and drink becomes a doorway
to encounter God. In the Christmas celebration,
we are invited to imagine ourselves in a
physical place, kneeling in our bodies before
an embodied God. And, as we celebrate
incarnation, we are reminded that we too are
“temples of God's Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians
3:16 & 6:19), and we are called to respect and
honour our own bodies and those of others
around us.

Living Christmas

In a world where domestic violence, rape,
AIDS, cancer, and poverty tempt us to deny
the humanness of others and despise our own
flesh, we need to hear the Christmas message
again. We need to be reminded that God is with
us in our struggle, and that God loves us
– including our flesh – enough to become one
of us.

Joy to the world! God –with us and one of us-
has come!
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