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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
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    • Getting Into the Holiday Spirit December 15, 2017
      Recently I and other members of the Spiritual Care Department at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis decorated a window for the holiday season. A number of other departments also got into the holiday spirit and creatively and colorfully decorated a window in one of the hospital's ground floor hallways.Above: Fellow Spiritual Care colleagues (fro […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Quote of the Day December 13, 2017
      It's so refreshing seeing Doug Jones on stage with his supporters tonight, looking like America – brown and white, young and old, male and female, professional and blue collar – in stark contrast to those standing with Roy Moore – the Old South, nothing but pinched-faced, elderly white men, with that pasty look of Scots-Irish backwoodsmen gone to pot in […]
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Christmas at Litmanova December 29, 2016
      The Marian Shrine of Litmanova, Slovakia.Christmas 2017A forest chapel at the Slovakian Marian shrine of Litmanova.Stunning painting of the Sacred Heart inside the forest chapel.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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And the Word became one of us, and dwelt among mankind.

“Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis” (And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us). This is the momentous and joyous occasion that we Christians celebrate and commemorate during this beautiful Christmas season. Christmas isn’t just about a babe being born in a manger, it’s about God coming to join us, even to become one of us, and thereby, to save and liberate us by sharing in and uniting Himself to our frail humanity.

What does it mean then that God became a human being?

It might be wise to consider the direct ramifications and implications of the Incarnation (God becoming man) before asking any further questions.

We as human beings are creatures of God, made by His designs. Yet, God consented to assume the form of His creatures in order to dwell among us. Scripture proclaims, God in His very nature is a Being of unending, unconditional love. In fact, St. John goes so far as to say that God is love (1 John 4:16). Think about it; this means that before the creation of our world, the universe, or all other forms of tangible elements, nothing else existed besides the eternal force of Love. Thus, God becomes tangible in Jesus Christ, descending, even taken on our humanity which He created, to show forth His boundless Love, which is the very essence of His being. Not only was the Almighty Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, but Love, was made incarnate, tangible, and real upon this earth. In order to understand the ways of real love and hope to imitate them genuinely, we must ponder and contemplate the actions of Jesus Christ, for He was the only perfect human expression of Love itself!

This love would of course impel Jesus Christ to His ultimate salvific destiny; to suffer horrible physical torment, to love even until the very end, to death, and to rise again from this death, triumphantly promising eternal life and happiness to all those who believe in and follow Him. Scripture speaks of our respective salvation as not something that we could merit but rather as a gift (John 3:16), something that God does for us. Thus, the Crucifixion did not necessarily have to occur in order for humanity to be reconciled to God. However, because God is Love itself, this was the way in which He chose to save and deliver us from the sinful forces that are present in our world. By giving of Himself, for our sake and benefit, He showed us the ultimate way in which we must move and live as an example for all people.

Another matter to consider is that Jesus, being the Word Incarnate experienced all the same feelings, emotions, desires, and pains that we did. However, He experienced all these things without sin. Just as we are tempted Jesus never gave in or was susceptible to the wiles of evil. Experiencing all that we do, even sexual feelings (although, to the best of our knowledge modern scholarship continues to prove that Jesus was probably not married), it is highly probable that Jesus could have had homosexual feelings at one point or another during His life upon this earth.  Scripture speaks of St. John as being Jesus’ “beloved” disciple and the one whom He loved. We are even told that during the Last Supper John rested his head upon the chest of the Lord, in a gesture of both intimacy and adoration. Jesus, with the very wellspring of Love itself aflame within His Sacred Heart, did not spurn John’s gesture but rather welcomed it. This is of course only speculative on my part, but how can we not ask what this gesture says to us?

Love itself does not turn away the affections of another man but rather welcomes them, even if it was not His destiny to experience them. Love welcomes another expression of love and approves of it and blesses it by accepting John’s embrace.

Could the leaders of the Church not follow Christ’s example once again today, imitating the unending love flowing from His Sacred Heart, and embracing those individuals who are attracted to those of the same-sex?

Zechariah; the husband of the Virgin Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, describes the coming of the Messiah as “the dawn from on high” (Luke 1:78) breaking upon us. He does so, in the Gospel of Luke, after his speech has been restored, following a lengthy period of being struck mute as a consequence for not believing the angel’s words proclaiming to him that his wife, in her old age, would bear a son. Jesus Christ, as God and Love Incarnate, is indeed this new dawn which illumines the world in its confusion, despair, and sinfulness. As the Light of the World, Jesus has cast an everlasting testament of love, justice, and peace. How long will  individuals, even those within the Church, continue to hide from His light, this new “dawn” which gives humanity a radical new and liberating way of living out our experiences as creatures of God? How long will the “Dawn from on high” be obscured to continue banal and tired ways of existence?

God became one of us to liberate us from the forces of sin and death. In order to grow in greater conformity to His likeness we must become more like Him, radiating unceasing love, even radically. Realizing the ways of the Divine means that love has no boundaries. When can we understand that questioning the boundaries we already have in place is not of the Devil, but could be of God, growing ever closer to radiating His all-encompassing, undying, unconditional Love that is His very essence?  The Word was made flesh to reveal His undying love for us, in order to imitate Him daily we must be willing to die to our own fears and inhibitions giving way for a new “Dawn” to break upon us and renew the face of the earth!

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