Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Eigtht Hours Of Inconvenience And A Lesser Known Aspect Of Christmas

If you've clicked to this blog post expecting another grand celebration of Christ's Incarnation, today's offering may disappoint you. Yesterday's "quick trip" into Boston to see John's Nurse Practitioner wound up being an eight-hour ordeal, mostly focused on either waiting for The RIDE or, once it finally came, creeping through traffic at the pace of an arthritic turtle. All that for a 15-minute consultation that didn't yield the encouraging news we'd expected.

Then last night, our apartment never cooled down, making sleep difficult. Living on the third floor often presents this problem. My hot flashes and night sweats complicate matters, of course. Anyway, a grocery  bag now hangs heavily under each eye--eyes that are most likely bloodshot.

I feel completely uninspired to write about God becoming flesh.

Yet, one result of the Incarnation is Jesus' ability to understand all the difficulties and frustrations that accompany being human. While His main mission revolved around dying on the cross to atone for our sin, Scripture also states that He shared human experience in order to better understand our plight.
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~~Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)
We normally don't emphasize this aspect of the Incarnation because Scripture doesn't emphasize it. And  I have, in my history of self-centered theology, twisted this passage to legitimize my frequent dances with self-pity by reimaging Jesus into a puppy-eyed Sympathizer Who agreed that life had given me the short end of the stick. Looking back, I can see how  badly I misconstrued that passage.

Yesterday, I should have remembered that Jesus knows what discomfort and inconvenience feel like. The poor judgments of those who scheduled our trip into Boston were light compared to the unrelenting sin committed by each and every human being except the divine Man Who hung on the cross to pay for those sins. In fact, Jesus understands our sufferings a whole lot better than we understand His. Yesterday I grumbled and complained and pouted, whereas Jesus, on the cross, committed Himself to His Father.

Jesus knows, even better than we do, the trials of being human. The Incarnation gave Him that humbling experience. So the eight dreadful hours John and I endured yesterday should deepen my appreciation of His Incarnation as I praise Him for willingly suffering because of my sins.

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