This is the draft for my short Christmas Eve homily, which will be delivered at the 11 PM service at St. Paul’s UCC in Dallastown, PA, tomorrow evening. And, of course, I stole/cribbed the title from Laurel Schneider’s great essay in the volume Polydoxy, which she coedited with Catherine Keller. The lection for the homily is Galatians 4:4-7.
St. Paul writes that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children,” continuing, and “because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father’!” Therefore, we are no longer a slave, but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” (NRSV)
This passage from scripture from St. Paul in Galatians 4 is probably everything we need to know about Christmas in just a few sentences, that God submits to the logic of sacrifice, to be sacrificed on the cross, by entering human form and submitting to the law or logic of humanity. And as a result, we are all children of the same divine Parent: no longer slaves to the ways of the world but heirs to inherit the Kingdom of God by building the Kingdom of God for ourselves and for future generations.
But is this really how it all works? Read the rest of this entry »