On this eleventh day of Christmas, I'm thinking about our frailty.
I think that when we think about incarnation and the beauty of it, we tend to think in terms of the sorts of bodies we see on the covers of health magazines, or whatever our personal image of the ideal body might be for us.
I do it, too.
But there's no getting around how frail we are and all the ways this fleshiness can be other than ideal.
I thought of it today as I looked at a cake after church and wondered if I wanted the head rush that I now get (not a pleasant experience) as much as I wanted a piece of cake. I decided I did not (but I did have a tiny taste). My diabetes is a reminder that I simply can't enjoy these things like I once could.
Still, that's a small reminder of frailty. I see it other bodies, the aging body, the wheelchair bound body, the medically-tested-and-diagnosed-and-awaiting-surgery-or-worse bodies.
I'm thinking about mortality.
Jesus died at the hands of a harsh system that couldn't let him give people hope. We're going to die, too, maybe not as violently but just as dead.
Jesus, from what we can know of him, seemed to have a fully functioning body up until his arrest and up until his arrest, he was a healer. I feel certain not everyone in Palestine was healed by Jesus, and that seems a little unfair, but whatever the situation, we know Jesus, presumably a healthy man in the prime of his life, was able to offer compassion.
If Jesus did not experience crutches or being bedridden, it appears he did not count his able-bodied status as something to exploited, but reached out to those who were not as well off.
This may be some small part of why we began to revere him as a God who emptied out, gave up all godhood and took on human form. Maybe I'm reaching. I offer it as a point for reflection.
I believe that the Fully Divine Fully Human Jesus, who we call the Son of God, saw in our frail nature the Image of God, the God who hurts, who is sometimes crippled and made unable by circumstances not of God's making.
Young, old, healthy, infirm . . . Jesus saw himself in us and loved us all as children of God.