We are in the middle of a large winter storm system, waiting for the next wave of snow and ice. Dusk is rapidly turning to dark. The lights in this little office at Joy Farm are welcome now, as is the warmth from the extra heater in this room.
I am reflecting on the Greek Orthodox theology that is summed up in the words of Irenaeus,“God became man (human) so that man (humans) could become God.” This was not my early understanding of the relationship between God and humans. That was summed up by “Man is by nature sinful and unclean.” And, Christ died for our sins so that we could have eternal life. The Greek Orthodox statement fills me with hope; the Lutheran catechism training fills me with sorrow and guilt. On this Christmas Eve, I prefer to contemplate the process called “divinization” whereby human beings enter into union with God and are enabled ultimately to participate (somehow, mysteriously) with the Holy Trinity, enjoying the sweep and dance of perfect joy, bliss of torrents of love, and sight and sound and fragrance of utter beauty.
We get to practice here on earth. We can replace our narrow and near-sighted vision with a broader perspective, our habits of frozen heart with open and warm-hearted hospitality, our mistaken notions of who we are with grounding in the True Self which has God at its core. May the Divine in you and the Divine in me be born anew this night.