I was reading an editor’s note from the Christian Century. The editors quite rightly pointed out that Pope Francis recent Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) has received much mis-directed attention on his biblical view of economics. The title of the apostolic exhortation seems to clearly point to the principle idea that Pope Francis desired to be received -“ the joy of the gospel is rooted in an experience of God’s love in Jesus”, through his humble birth to his humble and terrifying death, and finally in the divine vindication through the resurrection.The editors remind us that this love put Jesus right in the messiness of our world in his humble birth.
As we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, God’s redeeming answer to our messiness, I wonder if we are missing the true joy of this redeeming work of God in the risen King Jesus. Despite our short comings as created beings, our Creator continued to steadfastly love us, and love us enough to enter our messiness through human form in order to make the one sacrifice that makes a difference. So let all creatures on heaven and earth rejoice in our LORD, who has not forgotten us, and who empowers us to share the joy of the gospel – the steadfast love of our creating, redeeming and sustaining God.
This God-with-Us (Emmanuel) does not go about snapping his fingers to make all the woes of a fallen world disappear; this God remains steadfast in divine love for creation through a divine given purpose, through divine presence, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, which provides creation the ability to respond. So I say again, rejoice in the gospel of our Lord, who makes God’s love known.