Monday, March 24, 2014

Consecration of Hiddenness

The concept of the humility of God’s dealings with the world in Christ – the lowliness of Jesus’ birth, the simple background of Mary and Joseph, etc – is not a novel perception, and neither is the element of hiddenness, but I do feel it is an important theme to return to, especially at this time of year, when we consider the ultimate implications of the Incarnation.  It is an encouraging thing to think about, when sometimes the smallness and seemingly inconsequential nature of our own lives and efforts can weigh us down.

So, not only does God’s entrance into history consecrate the forgotten poor and the lowly of the world, but His dealings with us provide a tacit recognition and blessing of hiddenness per se. By knowing that the greatest events in world history – the Son of God being born into this world as one of us, with all that surrounded and followed it – were of no consequence to anybody but a small handful of people who could not prove or validate their experiences, can also be of great comfort and encouragement to us today.

In Christ, God’s action is opened up to the whole world, and in His members the saving message and action of this covenant are made manifest simply by bearing witness to and living out that radical newness in daily life. Every Christian is indeed a new creation, and continues the history of God’s action by fulfilling the promises given in baptism, by really being a Christ-bearer to the world. Again, it does not matter if this is done on a grand scale or to a wide audience – God has shown that He operates in hidden places, and is no respecter of publicity. The hard part is to remember what a great honor we have been given, and to recall this gift to ourselves daily – if we trust in Christ, He will do the rest.