Isaiah 61:10-62:3 Galatians 3:23-25;4:4-7
What if Jesus is the Big Bang? I understand that scientists
can theorize -- and have empirical evidence to back their theories -- about
what happened one second after time zero, the so-called Big Bang, but there is
no consensus on what actually happened. Could Jesus have been the Big Bang as
well as the Christmas child?
At Christmas we heard the reading from Luke about Mary and
Joseph finding no room in the inn, and the angels appearing to the angels who
then went to Bethlehem and found,
as the angels had said, a babe lying in a manger. This morning we heard the
wonderful poem which starts John’s Gospel – John’s account of the coming of
Christ. You’ll notice that it doesn’t say anything about babies or angels or
shepherds. Instead it goes straight to the heart of the matter
The logos or Word,
which is also the light, who is God’s one Son, was there at the very beginning
of Creation. Christ is not an afterthought. God did not wonder what he was
going to do with recalcitrant humanity and suddenly have the brilliant idea of
having and sending a son. From the very beginning, the Word was with God and
the Word was God.
And all things were made through him. All things. Every
single thing in the universe was made through him. Isn’t that amazing!
So was he the Big Bang? It’s dangerous for us to declare
that a scientific gap proves the intervention of God, because when that gap
gets filled, God will be seen to be redundant at best, or simply non-existent. However,
there is no doubt from this gospel reading that
what came into being in Christ was life itself. The Word or logos is life which is also light.
Perhaps the thing that is so amazing about babies of any
species is the new life. We can’t make life – we can make things that move and
things that fly and things that talk and event things that seem to think – but
we can’t make them live. Life is a miracle. Life is here because of the Word,
Christ is in all life and Christ is in all persons.
Our baptismal vows
call us to seek and serve Christ, the life and the light in all persons. We are the people who have
promised, and continually promise over and over again, to seek and serve Christ
in all persons. Not some people, not most people, but all persons.
This is very inconvenient. We would much rather serve
those people we like, those people who like us. But no-one is made without the logos. There is no life without the
Christ and we are the ones who have promised to serve the Christ in all
persons. It would have been much more convenient if John had simply
told the story like Luke and not pointed out that from the very beginning
nothing was made except through the Christ.
Christmas is so much easier if you just
stick to the nativity scene and think about cuddly sheep, and a cow in the
background, and hay in the manger, and shepherds falling all over themselves
with excitement like so many children under the Christmas tree, which, just as
inconveniently, does not seem to be a part of the story.
Until you get to the part about light. “In
him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Martin Luther is said to have
lit the first Christmas tree with candles so as to make it look like the stars
in the sky!
When you light a candle, you tap into an
ancient and nearly never-ending cycle of life-giving energy. Plants make food
through photosynthesis. The chemical energy of photosynthesis in plants is then
passed up the food chain, for instance, to grazing cattle and then on to tallow
in a candle. When the candle is lit in the gloomiest of nights, it releases the
sunlight and returns the complex fat or wax molecules to the form in which the plants
found it in the first place – water and carbon dioxide that can be incorporated
into living things all over again.
And here’s the amazing thing: the Word, the logos
, the Christ is in all of that. The logos
the photosynthesis and the sunlight. “Without him was not anything made that
was made.” The life and the light was all made by and through the Word.
Why was it made? It was made because God
wanted it. Because God is infinitely creative and infinitely loving and the
divine creative loving created a cosmos to dance with in loving
creativity. As humans we have a special
place in the cosmos. We are made to become the adopted daughters and sons of
Was the Big Bang just for us? Probably not.
There is so much to the cosmos that even the most brilliant of us can only
faintly begin to comprehend, and there is far more of it than we can enjoy, it
rather suggests that there’s a lot more to creation than just humanity coming
to know God. But it is part of it. As the reading from Galatians says, “God sent his Son, born of a woman, so that
we might receive adoption as children.”
have enrolled in the reign of God are the children of God. We take that rather
for granted these days with our interconnection as humans being sentimentally
articulated as “We’re all God’s children”. But just think about it again. This
is awe-inspiring, as Isaiah says
greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of
he has covered me with the robe of
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
what it means to be the children of God. We are heirs with Christ, the
first-born of many, many siblings.
became human and moved in with us, so that we might become Christ-like. We do
that by enrolling in the project of God’s reign, asking to be part of the work
that God is doing here, and then by serving all whom God sends to us.
just two rules for the children of God: Love God and love your neighbor as
J.B. Stump, “Cosmic Question” Christian Century Dec 26, 2012