— I suppose it had to happen eventually – I’ve been at this church for almost 7 years. I mean, its not like jvs doesn’t talk about this in his sleep 😉 But this is a full-on, two-book way of seeing things. Seeing God in everything – seeing that fingerprint of how he is in this world THROUGH the things in our world. Even cabinet appointments!
The news cycle has cycled right on past this now – apparently Starbucks did something to their cups and, I’m not sure, but the world is ending I think….
But a couple weeks ago, something I read on the CBC News site that really struck me. I read this article about the response to Jodi Wilson-Raybould’s appointment as Minister of Justice. I had a strong reaction to it. A good one and it surprised me. And my reaction to hearing about these appointments and the reaction to it was, “Of course.” Of course this is good news. This is good news because I am a Christian and when I see things that make me see Jesus, that’s good news.
Now don’t get upset and think I am saying this particular government is God’s appointed government. I am not saying that loving the liberals is the Christian thing to do, necessarily. I’m not saying that. What I am saying is, that the reason, I think, this appointment and the whole cabinet appointment caught our attention and the attention of so many is that it is a clear, beautiful and true image of something we already know to be true . It is a picture we can look through and see God.
And what we see when we look through these appointments and “read” this story, and see Ms. Raybould take the oath of office is nothing short of an image of incarnation. It reveals to us the nature of THE Incarnation and it catches us a bit – it calls us a bit.
Because God chooses to work over and over (and yes I’ve said this before….but I like saying it so I’m going to again) through the lives and the long development of a human life to show who He is. Jesus, God-With-Us, God fleshed out in a very particular history, God Incarnate. Who Jesus of Nazareth was, in particular, in his detail, mattered. Because place matters and matter matters and the stuff of our lives matter. Everything that makes us who we are matters. And He wants us to know that and moreover He wanted to redeem that. And in the Mattering of Jesus’ life, there was brought together the perfect representation of Who God Is and Who We Are. And how he incarnated that life, with his personality, his choices, his history, his struggles, his sufferings made him the perfect fit for all that He is to each of us now.
What people are seeing in this cabinet appointment here is that Jodi Wilson-Raybould knows what it is like to be a woman. She knows what it is to navigate in this country as a minority (and a profoundly misunderstood, mistreated and misrepresented one, I think it would be safe to say). As a leader in her community, she knows what it is to hold and own her own culture, her own identity up and out and then to lead from that place. She knows what it is to study and work, very hard, and to respect and defend the laws that we have to cling to in our democracy.
She is all these things in herself, in her person. The family she grew up in, the culture and community she knows herself belonging to, the choices she made, the schooling she undertook, the work she has done. It-the Mattering of her life – has all led to her being an astoundingly good fit for our next Minister of Justice – particularly because, as many have pointed out, that is the role that will be undertaking an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. For such a time as this, indeed.
I will say it again, in the Mattering of Jesus’ life, there was brought together the perfect representation of Who God Is and Who We Are. And how he incarnated that life made him the perfect fit for all that He is to each of us now.
Her appointment and her story imaged the Incarnation of God to me. It showed me a picture of why the Incarnation makes everything different. Different because no longer are our bodies, our histories, our fleshliness liabilities. They are brought into the personhood of God. No longer is her womanhood, her Indiginous heritage, her skin colour, her personality with all its choices potential barriers to her contributing to the world. They are the reason she has something to say. And they are the locus of her authority on the matter. No longer are we shut out from a life with the love of our own soul because of our bodies, our stories, our families, our frailty, our weakness. In Jesus, his own body, story, family, frailty were the locus of his authority on Who God is With us and who we are now with our creator.
Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s story imaged the Incarnation of God to me. Maybe your story does too. Maybe each of ours does, in small ways or maybe even big, flesh out who God is in this world.
In very real ways, I pray for Jodi Wilson-Raybould and all the work she has before her. I pray for true justice and empowerment for people long dismissed and feared and burdened while knowing that she is not a hero so much as a servant in this role and will probably have to juggle more issues and importances than I will ever realize. I pray that she is truly the right fit for this. And I pray for Godly things…both mercy and justice to be present and accounted for.
And I’m thankful for the democratic exercise we got to witness last week. I enjoyed taking part in it through the magic of the weird interweb world and through it I even got to see a bit of God. And that’s always a good day.
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