Although we find ourselves in the midst of Epiphany I’m still pondering the Incarnation… What was it like for God to risk bringing the only Son into creation?
Over the holidays I was blessed to invite my only child into a world I am creating. My daughter left New Orleans for college last August. While she navigated and discovered a new world in the Southwest I began the same in DC, organizing my apartment to accommodate the only animal to climb with me out of the arc that delivered us and to make ready for the arrival of my only child after Christmas. I was careful to be sure that upon arrival she’d discover signs that would show her that I loved her; framed pictures from her childhood on the wall, a handmade birthday card that she’d sent me held to the refrigerator door with a magnet and a hide-a-bed from IKEA in the living room. After the first night of our visit I asked, “How was the bed?” “OK, but a little hard…” she said. We ventured out that day and found some memory foam at Target. As it turned out an inch and a half of memory made all the difference in the world.
In theological terms, and in the Eucharist of the church, we refer to our most important memory as a recollection, an anamnesis. “Do this, in remembrance of me.” In the Eucharist we remind ourselves that what we celebrate each week is a re-membering of what God has done in the Resurrection; the re-ordering of a world that, on the first try, and with every good intention from its creator, rejected rather than welcomed the Son into its midst. The hope of the resurrection is a hope that when the Son returns again what will be found is a world of welcome and love rather than a world of suspicion and rejection.
How shall we show God that the world is ready to receive a return of the Son this Epiphany? How can we be magnets of love and welcome for the same? One answer is that we welcome every child born as if they were our own, deserving nothing less than all we can muster for those that bear our name.
Blessed be the one that comes in the name of the Lord, Amen