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Christmas 2A: A Nonviolent Theological Throwdown

Love was in the world from the beginning, but went unrecognized.

S1:E7 EPISODE SUMMARY

“He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. … And the Word beame flesh and lived among us…”

Merry Christmas… still!

By the second Sunday of the Christmas season, hardly anyone is saying “Merry Christmas” anymore. We tend to forget that it lasts 12 days. And, in a sense, it lasts even longer… the whole world is now forever infused with the miracle of Christmas, the ability to see God, in the flesh, among us in every single person…

“In the beginning was the Word…”

The Word, the Logos, is much more than a “word.” It’s the structuring principle of reality, as theologian Michael Hardin has said. It’s the logic of God through which the cosmos were formed, the fundamental building blocks of everything. In the ancient world into which Jesus was born, there was a fundamental consensus about what the organizing principle that governed the world was: violence. 

Think about it. Kings rise and fall, lands change hands, the rich get their wealth through exploitation while the poor spend their lives in insecurity and subserviance all because of… violence. Rivalries, fueds, and all-out wars seemed to be the way of the world.

This first chapter of John refutes all that. It’s a theological throwdown. The Word was with God, the Word WAS God, and God is not violence but Love. 

All that was made was made through nonviolent, creative, joyful love.

Love was in the world from the beginning, but went unrecognized.

The story of the Garden of Eden is a metaphor, not a history, but it speaks to a fundamental truth. Insecurity, jealousy, accusation, and rivalry have blinded humanity to the love within and surrounding us from the very beginning. What we perceive as God’s wrath is our own projection and misunderstanding. Adam and Eve weren’t kicked out of paradise; paradise — earth — this home that God gives us, became infused with misery and hardship when we failed to recognize love in our midst. 

The world of violence didn’t know Love. But people of all times and places recognized and tried to live out their vocations as reflections of Love. 

And Love became embodied among us, born as all children are born, helpless and vulnerable. Love works on our hearts by calling us to care for one another, to allow ourselves to be cared for by each other, and so Love came into the world in the same way it always does, in the form of a child.

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