At Work in the World
God said to Rebekah, “Two nations are in your womb; two different peoples will emerge from your body.” … When she reached the end of her pregnancy, she discovered she had twins. -Genesis 25:23-24 (CEB)
Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created. In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to Godself all things. – Colossians 1:15-20, excerpted (NRSV)
Long before Esau and Jacob were born, eons before they fought in Rebekah’s womb and grew up to fight for Isaac’s blessing, ages before one twin cheated the other and had to run for his life, there was a cosmic force at work in the world to heal, restore, and redeem all people and all creation.
Long before a baby named Jesus was born in Bethlehem and grew up to be a barrier-crossing, trouble-making, lowly-lifting, death-defying wonder, there was a dynamic force working in and through all things to love, heal, and reconcile all people and creation.
As the stories of Jacob and Esau and Jesus of Nazareth remind us, the workings of this transformative love rarely follow a straight line. The ordained, ever-in-process healing, reconciliation, and peace is usually less “Kumbaya” or “Silent Night” than trouble in the streets, struggles for justice, and life-giving lessons learned the hard way.
Incarnation is a messy, dangerous, wondrous business. And while we celebrate the Word Become Flesh once a year, the reconciling Christ always has been and always will be at work in the world.
Whatever our situation, may we trust that your love is at work in it.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.