Our spiritual lives move to a particular rhythm that John illuminates in today’s text. Receiving Christ moves us from accepting him to being transformed by him (vv. 12-13) Acceptance leads to transformation. This is not a one-time deal, but a life-long rhythm. Those who continually accept Christ are born into an entirely new way of being, time after time. What a gift for those of us who are prone to hopelessness, pride, or worn-out ways of living.
Although Christ knows us intimately, we have an uncanny ability to completely miss or reject Christ. If you are like me, you would rather receive Christ on your own terms. Neatly wrapped with a perfect bow under the Christmas tree. Coming into a clean home where all the laundry is put away and the sinks are bleached. Arriving precisely on my schedule, on my terms, exactly as I expected.
This is how we miss Christ, who continually comes to us. In conversations we choose to avoid. In needs for love or affection that we don’t want to address. In opportunities to admit we’re wrong and let someone else have the last word. In overwhelmingly human moments that show our frailty. How often we do not know him.
Beloved one, allow Christ to come to you on Christ’s terms. Acceptance changes your life and sometimes break your heart open. Sometimes it changes how you see, hear, and feel. Sometimes it feels like the dark, primordial, “am-I-going-to-get-stuck-in-here” part of being born.
If you have only a millimeter of acceptance to give today, that’s enough. To change the world forever, the infant Christ needed just one set of cradling arms, one open heart, to receive his tender, vulnerable, illuminating presence.
In what ways did you experience God yesterday? What is one way you could be open to experiencing God today?
God of light and life, be born in me today that I may grow in you. Amen.