The Word became a human being.
(Joh 1:14 ; New Int. Readers Version)
Er wurde einer von uns - ein Mensch wie andere Menschen. (Phil. 2,7; Neue Genfer Übersetzung)
At Christmas, people all around the world gather to look at Jesus. In Jesus, God became a human being. Looking at Jesus, we are seeing the one who sent Jesus (John 12:45). Merry Christmas!
Well, to be precise: God became a Galilean Jewish man in Judea, the later Palestine.
Especially men somehow got some of this wrong. As if men would be more representative of God. Non-men and non-conforming men soon had to learn to see beyond the visible gender of Jesus - in order to see themselves, too, represented in the humanness of Jesus. To understand and celebrate that God became them, too.
Just as today, the marginalized didn‘t always have the privilege to see themselves represented in those who are visible and have a voice.
Hence, from the beginning of Christianity, the marginalized queered the former principle of limiting representatives to their visible categories.
Jesus was a man? Maybe, but him being a man does not allow men to own him.
Jesus could see? Yes, but that didn’t limit his ministry to those who are sighted.
Jesus could hear? Yes, but that didn’t limit his presence to those who are hearing.
And because these limits did not count, those formerly invisible became visible.
Those formerly silenced became heard.
Those formerly ignored became acknowledged.
Not because they became “the same” or as “normal” as those privileged. The woman didn’t have to become a man. The Gentile didn’t have to become a Jew. The poor didn’t have to become rich (if at all: vice versa). The non-conforming didn’t have to become conforming.
The core of Christianity is neither about joining privileges in an unjust system, nor about “please be nice to me, because I am as normal as you are”. The birth of Jesus is the birth of a movement of all and to all – just as we are, just where we are, to be(come) just who we are.
Merry Christmas, MCCers of all genders, sexualities, classes, languages, educations and abilities around the globe! God sees you, no matter which categories current religious and political representatives fit into. In Jesus, God became you.
Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Baumann