As Christmas approaches I find myself asking what the incarnation means to me this year. The genius of the liturgical calendar means that we get to return to this question every year anew.
This year has been a brutal year for me.
It has been a turbulent year. South African higher education has been particularly volatile; and South African politics has taken some less than ideal turns. Added to being in the US in the height of the build up to primary season – the hate-filled rhetoric has been both persistent and profoundly disturbing.
But the greater turbulence has been internal. There are so many factors it is impossible to name them all, and almost nonsensical to try and unravel any kind of cause and effect.
I know only that it has been a time of entering some of the darkest, most well protected, most vulnerable caverns in my soul.
And I have been reading St Bonaventure; Raimon Panikkar; Ilia Delio; Thomas Merton; Cynthia Bourgeault.
What if the incarnation is not about ‘saving us from our screw ups’ but about the kind of revelation that can only happen in relationship?
My two year old nephew has been a true angel for me in this time. He has no idea what he has done for me – he has just been present.
What if the incarnation is about God’s willingness to show up in our world and extract love from us? Is it any wonder then that we are called to seek out the lowly, the wounded, the poor, the disenfranchised. If we show up for these, the least among us, we will find love.