Advent Devotional Dec 13: Some Children See Him

Some Children See Him
Some children see him lily white,
The baby Jesus born this night,
Some children see him lily white,
With tresses soft and fair.

Some children see him bronzed and brown,
The Lord of Heav’n to earth come down;
Some children see him bronzed and brown,
With dark and heavy hair.

Some children see him almond-eyed,
This savior whom we kneel beside,
Some children see him almond-eyed,
With skin of yellow hue.

Some children see him dark as they,
Sweet Mary’s son to whom we pray,
Some children see him dark as they,
And, ah! They love him, too!

The children in each diff’rent place
Will see the baby Jesus’ face
Like theirs, but bright with heav’nly grace,
And filled with holy light.

O lay aside each earthly thing,
And with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant king.
’tis love that’s born tonight!

 A couple of initial reactions to this song which happens to be another one that is new to me (it really is fun having other people create your list of reflection material).  The first is that this song has waaaay more tact than growing up singing: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children in the world.”  That song maybe has its heart in the right place but clearly missed all the purple children.

The second is an important reminder in conversations about incarnation.  It took me back to a conversation about the challenge of Christolatry in the work of Christology.  (Yes yes… big weird words I’ll stop that now I promise.)  Christology is the theological endeavor to understand the nature of Christ.  Christolatry is defined differently by some people but the working notion I have of it is the process of turning Christ into an idol where we begin to worship the particularities of Jesus’ humanity forgetting that Christ is also fully divine and far more than a man, a Jew, a carpenter, a wandering teacher, a turn of the millennium Galilean.

As we wait for the incarnation of the word, the word made flesh, we wait for God with us.  God in Christ Jesus lifts up humanity, lifts up creation, it is not the lifting up of one class, gender, race, or type of people.  We may see Jesus as white or black or anything in between.  I’m not sure that is wrong… so long as we do so realizing Jesus is far more than all of that.  If we turn our picture of Jesus – mental or painted – into the norm, as if our Jesus is the only Jesus, than we have committed a form of idolatry.  We have begun to worship a form of God (our own creation) rather than God.  As this tendency is pervasive in our faith, our churches, and our theology.

I love the line in the song, “They love him, too.” Because how often to do we take someone else’s view of God as not only a threat to our faith but as some sign of a lack of faith for themselves.  We all love Jesus, we all love God, we all love each other.  The idea that we all have to do so in the same way misses the whole idea of love.  Love is a relationship and it flows in two ways, must take into account two different worldviews, sets of needs, dreams, blind spots, hurts, and history.  Therefore love cannot look alike for all people and all relationship – and neither can Jesus, neither can God.  God will be the love you need in order for you to be love in and for the world.

Incarnation explosion.

O lay aside each earthly thing, 
And with thy heart as offering,
Come worship now the infant king.
’tis love that’s born tonight!”

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on December 13, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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