Friday, December 09, 2011

Advent Reflection #12

The beginnings of the gospels are crucial.  Matthew begins with the genealogy of Joseph.  Matthew wants to root this gospel in historical reality a la Jews, and this is the way Jews did history.  It may not be the way modern historians do it, but that is not the problem.  the main thing is to provie Jesus is a legal descendant of Abraham and David on his "father's" side, and this is code, meaningful to Jews of the time, if not so much to us.  Then he goes on to proive the circumstances of Jesus' birth are in line with Isaiah and other Old Testament prophecies. 

We cannot take the story of Jesus on our own terms, but on the terms of the historical reality in which is is set and in which it happened.  No pandering, and no whitewashing.  Joseph's response to Mary's pregnancy is natural, but we don't read every word spoken.  Yes, it's a supernatural event, but the existence of the supernatural in this world does not negate the existence of the real, the natural.  They exist side by side.  This what moderns do not understand.  As C.S. Lewis wrote, we moderns insist our world view is the only one, the only valid way to think.  Now, I'm as modern as the next person, but it's illogical to think modernism is the only way to think.  The Word (supernatural) became flesh (natural) and dwelt among us (experience), and we (natural) beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (supernatural).  The two intersect, constantly.

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