4th Advent: The Image of God

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15 Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
16 For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.
17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.
18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him;
20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross.

21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds,
22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him,
23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant. (Colossians 1:15-23)

The tender infant in a rough environment. It smells like wood, straw and dung. Here a child has been born in extreme poverty. Mary and Joseph – simple people. They have not picked out their fate. Poverty and simplicity aren’t a lifestyle for them. They don’t think – like us – if we only could live more simple. “Simplify your life” and “back to the basics” in the style of a Thoreau are totally strange to them. They have quite different sorrows. Eating, drinking, a warm refuge for mother and child – only for this night. What will be tomorrow is in God’s hands.

Living in this moment. Speechless luck. Does Mary sense who she just is suckling? Can she understand his universal meaning like the writer of the epistle to the Colossians does? Probably not. To Mary Jesus always would be her little boy. We know how she later is looking for the twelve years old. My mother and I know that it is similar to other, told me when I was already 30 years old, that I still have to comb. Mothers are like that. Good, if mothers are like that.

Change of scene. It is as we would be in another dimension, when we read the Colossians. That beats me! Yes indeed. But life does not happen only on a material level, not only in the cycle of birth, eating and drinking, living, growing old and dying. Since Jesus we know: The separation between the visible material world and the invisible spiritual world has been set aside. Both is merged in him.

For the faith Jesus is more than a religious miracle worker, more than a good human. God becomes visible, sensible and material in and by him. In spite of all God remains incomprehensible to us. The mystic can only talk like in Colossians of God in Christ. Ebullient, ecstatic, like drunken by love.

He experienced reconciliation. He experienced that his heart broke open and surrendered in front of God’s omnipresent love, which has taken shape in Christ. There is no before-after. Time dissolves. Beginning and ending are one in Christ.

It seems impossible for the mystic to determine the birth of Christ as a temporal birthday. It is impossible for him to “think” himself as seperated of Christ. That’s the point, he doesn’t think or believe to be one with Christ, but he experiences himself as one with God and Christ.

God’s presence shortly enlightens the darkness of our grey daily routine like a flash. But it is not nothing. Even if we can’t constantly be in a state in which we experience our oneness with God, we cannot endure ecstasy, peak experiences with God in the long run, they change us to the depths of our personality.

God dwells with his fullness in Christ.