Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Nativity: The Coming of the Divine Light

Incarnation of the Redeemer
Behold, this day is born unto you ... a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

Many are the wonders of Thy nativity, O Jesus; yet when we say “Thy nativity,” who could have created Thee, O Lord Jesus, Thou who are eternally life from life?
Did a redeemer incarnate in Palestine two-thousand years ago? The only way to know, is if that redeemer incarnates within you. The fantasy writer Peter S. Beagle wrote in an introduction of feeling like a secret agent, but one who doesn't know what his mission is, or even if he has one. This resonated deeply within me then, and does still—except that I now know that I have a mission. The Gnostic can say with The Blues Brothers, “We're on a mission from Gaahd.”

Gnosticism holds the view that the ultimate unknowable God doesn't hold the puppet strings to every molecule in the world. There are other forces at work in the kosmos, we call them Archons, or the powers. Murphy's Law has always been understood by Gnostics. In this world bad things just happen, God doesn't necessarily have anything whatever to do with any of it. So, if God isn't hurting us “for our own good” then how is God acting through the world to directly help us? Well, you didn't think the “do-it-yourself” of Gnosticism ended with attaining Gnosis, did you?

We are the secret agents of God. We must live out the Love of God in the world. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to act in those very small, very real, ways that incarnate the Love and Light of God into the world. There is a divine spark, a seed of light, within every one of us—yet so often it isn't apparent. The idea of it, and the fact of it, are equally unimportant if left in that abstract realm. That is information, not Gnosis. The indwelling Christ is a reality, yet if we never incarnate Christ into our lives, that reality neither effects us, nor the world.

There are many Gnostic takes on Christ. In one of them, Christ is seen as a higher being who comes into Jesus at his baptism, that is to say, Jesus incarnated Christ in his life. This points to a truth that we in our small way can try to emulate: in a gesture, in a word, in a touch, in a thought, in our hearts, we can provide a place for the Divine to live in the world. We can incarnate the Redeemer in very real, though little, ways within our lives, both for our own sakes, and for the sake of all the Children of the Light. For as the Lord said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I.”

1 comment:

Jordan Stratford+ said...

A very Merry Christmas to you, Father Troy!

Your words are a gift to us all.