An all knowing, all seeing, all good God, sent His only begotten Son to the Earth to save sinners.
Just writing this line, at this time of year, at the end of such a year as 2016, is considered naïve and near-sighted by many people.
However, as a statement of faith, particularly during the season of what used to called Advent, they are an acknowledgment that the season goes past materialism or doctrinal belief and goes directly to something humbler.
This line, this statement of faith, is about acknowledging the presence of something bigger than ourselves, acknowledging the need that humanity must be saved from our own problems and choices, and acknowledging our desire to be closer to something ineffable that takes us out of ourselves and unites us to each other.
Without human technology.
Without human misunderstandings.
Without human friction, conflict, or interruption.
An all knowing, all seeing, all good God, sent His only begotten Son to the Earth to save sinners, and his Son was born in a barn and was laid in a manger.
There are fewer places (even back in the bad old days) more humble and nonobvious for the person who is the object of such a radical claim to be laid in, than a manger.
The long realized, but rarely remarked upon, true revolution and revelation (that equally confounds the atheist, the agnostic, the follower of another set of religious beliefs, or the rational philosopher) is that omnipotence and omniscience would deign to descend from heaven to earth and into a manger.
During this time of the year, humility is at the core of the Christmas season. Not necessarily humility from accepting (or rejecting) a statement of faith, but humility coming from the awe that such a proclamation could be made, backed up, and continuously defended and propagated for over 2,000 years.
The strategy point is here:
Humility can come from staring at the world built by rational evolution.
Humility can come from being overwhelmed by not being sure about the meaning of the season.
Humility can even come from realizing how much forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation we have in ourselves.
Humility can come from accepting the statement of faith and acting on it.
But, the humility that lies at the core of this season (and yes, I’m well aware of pagan rituals, Catholic Church history, and humanity’s general inhumanity to man) is the humility of coming to the realization that the One True God outside of humanity, outside of time, and outside of our lived experience cared about us enough to send His Son here to this earth, to be born in a manger.
And from there comes the only question worth exploring through the renewal of the New Year: