When we look at 2020, when we look at this world—a year marked by the exposure of racism in America, political division, and the deadly COVID pandemic—can we have either optimism or hope?
The present moment finds us still in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic. We face the harsh reality that the world as we once knew it has indeed already passed. We remain unsure of what or when the world to come will arrive. And so we now live within a liminal space between the “what was” and the “next….” How, then, are we to navigate our present circumstances as people of faith? By entering into the wilderness of grief.
If you are anything like me, you are feeling a general uneasiness as we enter Advent. We’re still isolated and beginning to ponder the likelihood of a virtual (or at least socially distanced) Christmas Eve. How can we remember when we are not gathered, telling the stories of young Mary and John the Baptist? What is lost when we don’t light candles and sing Silent Night, Holy Night?
There are many ways to come to know things, and while the analytic, scientific perspective may be the preferred method for many in our Western, educated culture, it is certainly not the only way.
What difference does it make that Jesus was a cultural being, born into a specific culture? “With the incarnation, to quote Karl Barth, ‘theology has become anthropology because God has become man.”
“This Christmas, think about how our wise, loving, patient God entered the ancient Middle East—“Taking the very nature of a servant”—and trusted himself to the developmental processes that had been created through him.”
“In this advent season we remember the messy world Jesus entered. Born amidst controversy to an unwed mother who was likely a teenager, and in a smelly barn where he spent the night in a feeding trough, Jesus entered fully into our complexity. Throughout his years of ministry, he was controversial and unconventional, cutting through religious pretenses to show the heart of God.” Join us for psychologist Mark McMinn’s reflections on growing in wisdom.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of baby Jesus – fully God and yet with all the limitations inherent to human infancy. Fuller Seminary professor Justin Barrett guest writes our newsletter today, drawing on knowledge from psychology, cognitive science, and evolution to point to the beauty of this dependence and vulnerability.
In our 2019 Advent series, we will feature scientists reflecting on the question “What does it mean to say that Jesus was fully human?” We introduce the topic this week.
How do scientists and clergy work together for the good of the gospel? Fortunately, the Christian scientists I’ve met share a love for both their individual specialities and for the bigger-picture greater good of the Gospel of Jesus.