Isn’t the narrative of a venerable God enough?
Epistle Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4
For Sunday, Dec. 25 , 2011: Year B—Christmas Day
The first four verses of Hebrews, tells of the inheritor of the Cosmic Throne or Throne of Heaven—the appointed heir of all things.
I like my Jesus down on the ground. I like the God with us, the one who is among us, not the Jesus who looks down on us from his seat next to the Majesty on high, even if he looks down on us with benevolence and forgiveness, he is still looking down.
This is Christmas, where we celebrating God entering the world, and the way I read the Gospels, God doesn’t leave and return to God’s palace.
The opening words from Hebrews seem to be explaining that Jesus had a job to do here—he came, did it and climbed back up on his throne.
When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
It seems so transactional and not at all relational. I am not saying that I don’t think there is a great tension between our ability to know and be known by God and the complete otherness of God. That dialectic is present throughout our Holy Book.
I am saying that I don’t think imagery of human hierarchy is even close to helping us understand what the Godhead is like. God is not above, but maybe more like among, even if in an unknowable way.
I don’t think the reconciling event of the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ can be illuminated in any way by speaking of it as a royal gesture.
The Hardest Question
Isn’t the narrative of a venerable God found in the Gospels enough to put an end to hierarchical royal images the Godhead?