"The Audacity of Christmas" by Pastor A.J. Houseman
So Wonder Woman 1984 comes out tomorrow… that’s really all you need to know this Christmas.
No, just kidding. Wonder Woman is about Diana, who is a goddess. One of our Marvel super heroes.
She is basically invincible, lighting fast, super strong, and pretty much amazing at everything.
But there’s a moment where she feels vulnerable, takes the weight of the world on her shoulders and is scared of defeat. I’m not spoiling anything, it’s pretty much a key piece in any super hero movie right?
But if you haven’t seen it, you should. Like no Die Hard tonight, you gotta watch Wonder Woman.
Do you remember when you were a kid and there were people in your life that you thought were pretty much super heroes. Invincible.
Like I definitely thought my parents were these invincible super heroes. LIie my mom could do anything and my dad was super hero strong.
One of my earliest memories at our new house that we moved to when I was in third grade was learning that my Mom isn’t invincible. The roads were very icy and our road is super hilly with giant ravines on either side of the road with no guard rails.
We were driving home and it was dark outside. My Mom turned down our gravel road and went about 25 yards and just stopped right in the middle of the road, and started having a panic attack.
She was scared. Terrified of the road, the dark, the ice.
And then she cried. In that moment my super hero became vulnerable.
Have you ever thought about God as a super hero? I mean it makes sense, God can do anything right? The creator of the universe. God was like, BAM… here’s a universe.
Or like how super hero is it to be like, I’m going to set this bush on fire, but it’s not going to actually burn, and then I’m going to talk to people out of it.
Or when God was like, “Moses, put your stick in the sand” and then BAM the whole sea splits in half!
Or like, “Hey Jonah, you can’t run from me! I”m gonna make a big fish eat you!” BAM. apparently God is Emeril too.
Oh man, and miracles? Yeah that's basically super hero stuff. God is basically Wonder Woman.
God is invincible. God can do anything. God is all knowing, all powerful.
One of the pastor podcasts I listen to said this week that Christmas is audacious. Why? Because on Christmas, God became vulnerable.
It’s pretty ludicrous if you think about it. This all powerful God decides to become the most vulnerable thing in the world… a new born baby.
Like why would God do that? As people who are socially programmed since we are children not to cry or show vulnerability, it makes no sense to us.
Ok, so why didn’t God just appear like the super hero God is right in the middle of Jerusalem? The city of God right? That would make sense. To show up all mighty and powerful. People would have believed a lot faster that way right?
To be able to see God’s strength and might on display for everyone to see.
So… it’s really crazy what God decides to do. God became a baby. gestated and born like any other human baby. An ordinary thing.
And like why wouldn’t Go be born into royalty? That would make the most sense right? To have the most influence on people. But no, once again. God becomes vulnerable. God is born to an ordinary peasant woman.
In a barn, no less.
This doesn't seem like a place or way that a super hero comes into the world.
We learn more about a person in the ways they show their vulnerabilities than their strengths. Our vulnerabilities are our inner most selves. The ones we often hide from others. Our fears, our insecurities, our doubts, and the things we care about the most.
I learned in third grade that my Mom deeply loves us so much that in her innermost self she is terrified something bad is going to happen to her children. Also, that she is scared of heights.
In Wonder Woman, in Diana’s moment of vulnerability we learn she loves the people in this world and that they are worth saving.
And this is not a weakness. This is her strength. This love is my Mom’s strength. And this is God’s super power.
God put on flesh and blood and became vulnerable to the same things all humans are vulnerable to fear, pain, sadness, loss and death. AND love.
-- this is the audacity of Christmas. That this ultimate super hero, the almighty, the all powerful, the everything, would become one of us.
You learn more about someone in these vulnerable moments. What does this tell us about God?
God so loved the world so much that God became a tiny baby in order to save us. God came to us. Remember that, it’s not the other way around, we are not working our way to God. God came to us. God continues to come to us. Over and over again. TO each of us. The ordinary peoples of this world.
The chorus of one of my favorite Christmas songs called “I celebrate the day” by Relient K, the chorus goes, “the first time that you opened your eyes did you realize that you would be my savior? And the first breath that left your lips, did you know that it would change this world forever?”
The moment that God chose to become vulnerable and showed us God’s innermost truth in this baby, changed this world forever.
That is the audacity of Christmas. Amen.