Sunday, December 17, 2017

On humanity and sandals

Embed from Getty Images

I’m struck by the metaphor John the Baptist uses to compare himself to Christ in this week’s lesson from the Gospel of John.  “I am not worthy to unite the thong of his sandal.” It’s a simple, physical image—a sandal, a foot within it—in the midst of this evangelist’s typically more abstract imagery.  It’s an image that looks forward to other moments in the life and ministry of Jesus, especially that most surprising moment when, at the Last Supper, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples.
This physicality of the image, and of those other moments it anticipates, helps me remember one of the central things we look forward to during Advent—the Incarnation, when that same God that created and sustains all that has being took on our human form and lived as one of us.  It’s all too easy to lose sight of how shocking this is:  that the God of the universe should become a vulnerable human who, from infancy to crucifixion, would experience all the joys and the pains of our lives, even unto death.
But the Incarnation isn’t just about God taking on human nature.  It’s about the perfection of human nature in God.  In the Incarnation, we come to understand that we, as God’s creatures, are also made new, made good.  Our human selves, our human bodies, are part of God’s creation and God’s plan.  And this, as we will come to see in the days and weeks to come, changes everything.

Post by Jett McAlister

No comments:

Post a Comment