"The Word Became Flesh" is the celebration of Christmas. What does this mean that the Word became flesh?
It affirms humanity made in God's image. But, the question in Christian circles revolves around what does the "God/Man" mean?
"All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights" is the cry of our Founding Fathers. We, Americans, celebrate this tradition on the 4th of July. It is our country's "Declaration of Independence". Our Constitution was written to protect us form tyranny and empower the disempowered by giving them a right to vote.
How do these two views come together? Opportunity, Empowerment, Responsibility, and Character.
Jesus did not support the purity laws of segregating himself from those who did not meet the standards of "tradition". The values that Jesus upheld were the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He gave life to those who were disempowered by disease, poverty, and prejuidice. He gave liberty to those who were captive to their own self-judgments and weaknesses and told them to "sin no more". He gave the opportunity for the pursuit of happiness to those who were despised, rejected and oppressed. And this was the liberty of the "gospel's message", that is represented in our government's values.
Each and every person is valued in God's sight, as there are not little ones among us. And because of our values, many come to our shores to attain those liberties to pursue their own lives at peace.
Our country values "ordered liberty", which upholds one's right to worship, work and play in the way that the individual deems "fit". No one determines our "way of life", other than maintaining the ordered structure. A dissenting viewpoint is still valued, as liberty is only maintained as we allow "freedom of speech" and "freedom of press".
So, America has been rooted in Christian values, but these values are intepreted as differently as the people who make up the country we love.
Third Sunday of Advent
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