December 26, 2013

Christmas commences the faith journey of God: Some random thoughts

The Yuletide break has given me the opportunity to work on my other blogs. It was not difficult for me to update some as there are recent activities related to their particular niche. Others are continuation of the series of articles being posted or reposted. It is on this blog  where I  take a pause. Although I have already decided on the  topic, I am a little bit cautious as I  deal with faith journey in relation to Christmas. Much more that my random thoughts lead me to write on the  faith journey of God in Jesus.

My first impulse was to relate my faith journey to Christmas. A quick flashbacks on  life’s experiences brought me to my childhood dream to become a pastor as exemplified by the life of Rev. Salustiano Cabahug in his relationship with the church and community. Unable to pursue my dream to enroll in a seminary where he graduated, I shelved that dream when I got converted to my father’s  trade whom I also idolized in his relationship with peers, subordinates and gambling clientele.

I felt so secured and comfortable in an unstable world of gambling, that my only wanting was a wife to establish my own family. Yet, it did not come, as I was more inclined to touch cards and mahjong tiles than a hand of a woman. My dreams, at that time,were more of figures to beat in number games than faces  or vital statistics of woman I want to marry. It was only when I encountered a series of life threatening motorcycle accidents that I was convinced to  enter a bible school which eventually led me to another journey culminating  in a  near fatal illness.

A mystical journey followed resulting to a bargain with God for a year of lease of life so that I could work full time in ministry. As it turned out,  it  only serves  as a transition to more journeys in life including dialectic materialist ones which have changed the course of my life, ushering  me to where I am now  with two more critical sickness as life-changing  interludes.

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In the process of relating my faith journey to Christmas, I got overwhelmed by  God’s love and grace to me that  as I started to wonder about it, my thoughts  also wandered  on what the first Christmas could have been to God’s own faith journey in Jesus.

Undeniably, Christmas is the fulfillment of the promise and prophecy and, in some sense, a  culmination of the faith journey of the old. For Jesus  is considered the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  In Christmas,  all the labors and waiting  of the old were not in vain  because the Immanuel finally took place as foretold.

However,  it is also the beginning of the faith journey of the people to whom the incarnated God associated with. It  was not necessarily the start of the faith  journey of Mary and Joseph. They have already succeeded to hurdle the shame and embarrassment  for the controversial pregnancy of Mary prior to their  marriage and of course the stressful condition of literal journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem just the time she is expected to give birth. But it  was the beginning of the faith journey for the shepherds, and would be disciples, friends and associates of Jesus.

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More importantly, it  was  the beginning of   the faith journey of God who has exposed himself   to the cruelties of the world in incarnation. Logically, God knows how to handle the faith journey of humanity throughout the ages. While He knows how fragile humanity is, God has seen how they put their trust on Him in difficult situation. And despite  their failings  and backsliding, God knows how to discipline them to guide them  to the right track.  At times, He put them to test to gauge their faith but with restraints for He never allow humanity to be tempted beyond their capacity to cope.

But it’s a different story for God to entrust His life’s vulnerabilities  to humanity.  Can He really trust them,  knowing pretty well how  they have repudiated his messengers and even killed the prophets?  Can they be trusted of the intimate secrets? Can they discern the message and signs of times? What might have been in the thoughts of God when  Joseph  flip flopped  in his decision in their plight  as refugees?

Was it intentional or circumstantial  for God to commence  Jesus journey  in the care of the  lowest and most despised social groups and later on in the company of  unschooled and ordinary,  drunkard,  tax collectors and sinners? Was He more secured and comfortable in the company of these people than the  prestigious and  elite,   including the  religious ones? Were these some reasons why Jesus  showed  concerns and admiration for  the  traits of the former in contrast to the skirmishes and confrontation he had with the latter through parables and actual encounters?  Were his sighs   recorded in the bible manifestations of Jesus impatience or irritation in the course of his journey, when confronted by  humanity’s  lack of faith? What could have  Jesus felt in his faith journey when confronted by furious crowd that almost threw him off the cliff?

These questions  challenge  me to review  the Gospel  in the context of some random thoughts.