As we continue our Lenten series “The Story” at St. Andrew’s, today we were taking a look at Jesus’ life on Earth. The time before his ministry, or at least leading-up to his ministry. There isn’t a lot of Biblical material on this time and Geoff handled that (very well!) by taking some time to look at the doctrine of incarnation – the idea that God had to become one of us for the plan of salvation to work.
In the middle of his sermon, Geoff mentioned that believers today don’t question Christ’s humanity. We find it easy to believe that a man named Jesus lived in Israel a couple of thousand years ago. We find it easy to accept that he was, indeed, a human being. We struggle with the concept that he was also divine – the Son of God. But it wasn’t always that way. Early believers struggled to believe he was really a man. They found his divinity easy to grasp – after all, he performed miracles and rose from the dead. But they felt that it must be that he only “seemed” like a human.
I was glad Geoff pointed this out because it made me think of how much difficulty we have with paradox. We like things to be black or white, not a shade of grey. We like to be able to label something, definitively. To put a name on it. To understand it.
We’re not so good at dealing with “both/and” situations. We’re not so good at living in the tension between two possibilities. We tend one way or the other. So with Jesus, who was both God and man, we tend to highlight one of those things and downplay the other. In seminary, we call this having a high Christology (ie, it’s easy for you to accept Christ’s divinity) or a low Christology (ie, it’s easy for you to accept Christ’s humanity).
But the thing is…the life of faith is one lived between. Between our sin and God’s salvation. Between the moment of birth and the moment of death. Between knowledge and mystery. Between who we are and who we were created to be.
It’s not easy to live in the betwixt and between, but it’s good. It is there that God meets us. In the middle of our mess, in the middle of our confusion, in the middle of life.
During the journey through Lent, may you find yourself a little more at ease with paradox. May you find yourself living betwixt and between, and may you know the God who meets you there.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
Hebrews 4:14,15 NLT