God made Adam in His luminous image and likeness. Adam was more spirit than animal, intelligent, verbal, creative, emotional, and free. Adam kept the image and tossed the likeness when he ate the knowledge of good‘n’evil fruit and blamed his wife. A good son of a good God would not cave to the lure of “You will not die (i.e. God lied to you. Don’t trust Him.); for God knows that when you eat the fruit your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (i.e. God doesn’t want you to be as smart as He is; knowing good and evil will make you powerful-eat up!)”
Funny thing happened. Adam became unlike God for the first time in his life. Eating the knowledge of good‘n’evil fruit was like eating a delicious piece of salmonella filled chicken. Worse. Adam opened himself to the evil parasite and suddenly Adam and his species could pollute and corrupt good as evil does! In fact, Adam & Co. couldn’t help but lie, kill, cheat, and steal, et cetera to get whatever they needed to fabricate a semblance of good. Adam believed the lie that 1. God knew evil in the same way that Adam 2. should. Wrong. Wrong. Before the bite, God and Adam could see the infectious fruit tree. God never ate from it.
The farther infected-humans stray from the likeness of God the darker the world gets. The sun masks the stench of death. To a few, a very few out of this death-laden sunny-darkness God spoke. Noah, Abraham, Hagar, Job, and Moses heard His voice beckon them with paternal guidance. To Moses God presented a way of life that helped his people distinguish between good and evil, light and darkness, the likeness of God and death. The Law is life because the Law tells us what God likes: recognition, honesty, respect, loyalty, obedience... Ten Commandments, hundreds of rules all designed to resurrect God’s likeness and trust in Adam’s children.
The Law ushers humankind in restorative steps to the likeness that befits its image. Inasmuch as humankind would not, could not adequately and consistently follow the Law to its holy destination, it needed and still needs help.
Anyone who has witnessed a sun rise, who has seen darkness vanquished by a speck of light, has been to the manger where Christ was born.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world because He reflects the pure image and likeness of God, who invented light. Jesus Christ emanated from God the Father as light did at Creation. He is the light of Light.
Deny the Virgin birth.
What cannot be denied is that the likeness of God is reflected in Jesus the Christ. Not since Adam did a man, not Moses, not Abraham, not Mohammed, not Buddha, demonstrate both the intelligent spiritual image of God and the pure likeness of God as did Jesus Christ. As tempting as it was, Jesus did not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He trusted Adam’s Father and His Father to the death.
Deny the healings, deny walking on water, doubt the transfiguration, doubt the feeding of five thousand.
What cannot be disputed is that Jesus Christ forged a new way of life that leads humankind to the likeness of God with the means to distinguish between good and evil. What would Jesus do? Spiritually, Jesus Christ purges evil even as antidotes reverse poison or as antibiotics kill bacteria. Jesus is the second Adam that shines true light onto a very dark world. Born in the darkness of exile, poverty, political oppression and foreign occupation, with His first breath Jesus said, “Let there be Light.”
Doubt that the keys of Hades were relinquished. Doubt the resurrection.
What are indisputable are the presence of His Light through the centuries and the detoxifying medicine of His Image and Likeness, His Body and Blood. The light of Jesus Christ may wane from time to time and place to place but it will not be extinguished until darkness is expelled and evil is obliterated, when every one of us aspiring immortals is pure good in the luminous land of the living.
Christmas, my friend, is the sunrise of a never-ending day.
Bells can’t help but jingle with joy.
Wrinkled faces sparkle.
The Law is relieved for the help that is born.
Life rings out loud.
Happy Birthday Patricia!