Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Raw and Gritty Christmas Quote, Part 2

"He was born, the story begins - the barn that needs cleaning, the sagging steps, the dusty face - and there are times when we have to forget all about the angels and shepherds and star of it, I think, and just let the birth as a birth be wonder enough, which heaven help us it is, this wonder of all wonders. Into a world that has never been famous for taking special care of the naked and helpless, he was born in the same old way to the same old end and in all likelihood howled bloody murder with the rest of us when they got the breath going in him and he sensed more or less what he was in for. An old man in the Temple predicted great things for him but terrible things for the mother who loved him in what seemed to have been all the wrong ways. He got lost in the city and worried his parents sick. John baptised him in the river and wondered afterwards if he'd chosen the right man. It wasn't just Satan who tempted him then because for the rest of his life just about everybody tempted him - his best friend, his disciples, his mother and brothers, his enemies. They all of them tempted him one way or another not to go off the deep end but to stay on the bearable surface of things - to work miracles you could see with your eyes, to feed hungers you could feel in your belly, to heal the sickness of the flesh you could touch, to be a power among powers and to avoid the powerless, the sinful, the deadbeats like the plague in favour of the outwardly righteous, the publicly pious...

"But 'like a root out of dry ground,' he came, Isaiah says (53:2), and it was down at the roots of things that he moved..."  - Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

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