Merry Christmas Eve to all the listeners and lovers of Hyphenated Life podcast! Since Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday this year, the day of the week we release our Hyphenated Life podcasts, we decided to tickle your sacred vs. secular sensors with a delve into one of the formative quotes for the basis of Hyphenated Life. That quote of course is from Madeleine L'Engle, and her book "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art"
“There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.”
This idea has been both inspirational and foundational to our outlook on the world. We're excited to hopefully share this special day with you as we celebrate the humanity and the divine in all of us! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't decide between starting to write my novel or score my screenplays. So instead of eight, three boxes of Mac and cheese, and then lay on the floor panicked. Well, are we ready? Yeah. Okay. You want to start? Do you want me to start? I can start. Okay. Here we go. Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. And welcome to this bonus episode on this Christmas Eve, 2020 of hyphenated life. I am Andrew Dardy. I'm David[inaudible]. And we're going to take just a few minutes to talk a little bit about, Ooh, the scandal of the incarnation to put it in fundamentally Christian terms scandalous. And one of the, one of the big starting points for our podcast is this wonderful Madeline L'Engle quote. And David, I think we've probably quoted this more times than we can count on almost every episode because it's been so formative to what we have envisioned this podcast to be about. And that is about breaking what we have considered false binaries boundaries between what is sacred and what is secular. And one of those go-to quotes for us is from the wonderful writer, Madeline L'Engle, she's probably the most famous for writing the book a wrinkle in time, but she has an essay I believe called walking on water. And this quote comes from that essay and it says there is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred. This is one of the deepest messages of the incarnation incarnation being sort of a, well, I guess a semi fancy theological word for God, become flesh for those who wonder what that even means. So what does it mean for God to become flesh? Uh, and that's where we kind of get this idea of the scandal of the incarnation around all of the birth narratives of Jesus and the gospels. One thing I kinda think about David is if God, we're going to get the son of the most high to lose, to use St Luke's terminology, couldn't have, God may made it easier on Mary, right? And on the Holy family and on God, God's self to get Jesus born into the world in a way that was a little fuzzier, a little easier in terms of circumstances, but God didn't choose that way. He chose scandal and messiness and humanness radical humanness. So when we think about breaking down these, these barriers between what is sacred and what is secular, we in some ways kind of start with Christmas with the scandal of incarnation.Speaker 3:
Yeah, absolutely. I think this idea Jesus was despite being the son of God, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was born in a pile of hay. And like you said, it was scandalous. It was messy. It was real, it was human. That's the incarnation, right. Is God becoming human. And a part of that, that is like you said, perfectly, this quote has been formative to our whole, whole mission here with hyphenated life in really, uh, trying to point out through both cultural perspectives and religious perspectives. That that is a falsehood. It's a, it's a made up idea. And from the very, very beginning here, we have God made flesh, God was made human. And so you can't separate. The divine from humanity is, is one of the biggest messages of that. And if that's the case, then everything is, you're not able to separate anything, uh, that exists in, in our world here. So, um, it's, it's such a beautiful quote and it's, it's simple and straightforward. And you also mentioned we've, we can't even count the number of times that we've said it. So, um, we decided we'd just have a whole little mini bonus episode here about it because it is that important. It is fundamental to everything that we're talking about, you know, whether we're talking with, um, you know, presidents of schools of divinity or, um, you know, artists or musicians or, um, lawyers or doctors or other priests and reverends, um, this, this is at the core of it. We want this to permeate everything in the way that we view the world and experience the world that, that there is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred. That being the deepest message of the incarnation, it's a beautiful idea and perfect for this day today, Christmas Eve, or if you're listening to it later down the line probably recently just celebrated Christmas and the holidays. And, um, it's easy to forget about, Oh, with everything going on, normally in a normal Christmas season, um, that, that is, you know, at the heart of what, what this holiday w what this, this day is about, right, is God made flesh in the form of an innocent baby child.Speaker 2:
Yes. The, the miracle of materiality that God so loved the world and that God so loved human beings. That God became one. I mean, that's also part of the scandal of Christianity that somewhere along the way, how did we lose that profundity, right? How did we lose, uh, that enormous sense of the physicality of, of divinity in a lot of ways, the more we become human, uh, in some ways the holier we become to the Holy and the human uniting. I love what, uh, we've talked about Richard Rohr, probably on this podcast, certainly in sermons at pine street church over the last three and a half years, I've probably quoted him more than anyone else, but this, this idea of the scandal of incarnation of God become flesh. You know, part of that is, is the, is the beauty and the genius of Christianity, and we ought to embrace it. And so how do we embrace it in ways? Um, that lends itself to the reality of everyday life, that every person listening has their sadnesses, especially this time of year, their grief times when life has disrupted their plans, as it was with Mary, the mother of Jesus in the central part of, uh, the feast of the nativity story in all the gospels. So we're with you out there today, thinking about everything we bring to bear on what it means to be a human being who is fully alive the world. It doesn't come in Norman Rockwell scenes always. And it certainly didn't come that way with Jesus. So on this day, when we celebrate well on the Eve, right of the feast of the incarnation, we think about what it means to be fully human. And we think about all of you listening today who have experienced loss this year, all of us in the atmosphere of the world have experienced the loss of we've been physically distanced from our loved ones. We've been distanced from a world that we could never have imagined pre March, right? Uh, and we are living in this odd and strange time in which we welcome Christ to be born again into our lives into strange and weird and odd circumstances. And that was the case with the birth story of Jesus too. Uh, I keep thinking about God could have made this a whole lot easier on Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but for whatever reason, this is the story we have embraced. And the story that is at the heart of Christianity and that we celebrate in this season, that truly he is odd and strange and surreal in so many different ways. And I can only imagine it was the same for Mary when she got this divine birth announcement from the angel Gabriel, that she was going to bear a son, and it was going to be Jesus son of the most high, Oh my gosh, not, we get hung up on the Virgin birth of Mary, but sometimes we forget the profound and powerful and ferocious yes. That she said in the midst of, you know, that she agreed with God that she accepted God's invitation, uh, to bear God's son in the world. And I often think about this, uh, Denise Levertov poem is we're talking about other writers and poets. It's called the enunciation. And I love this because when we think about Christmas being the feast in which we celebrate again, this miracle of materiality, I love these brief lines from Denise. Levertov that say this call the annunciation to bear in her womb, infinite weight and lightness to carry in hidden finite inwardness, nine months of eternity to contain and slender vase of being the sum of power in narrow flesh, the sum of light, then bring to birth, push out into air, a man, child needing light, any other milk and love, but who was God? Now that's utterly and utterly human.Speaker 3:
That is, that is God made flesh the incarnation. We've made it this far in 2020. Here we are on the Eve of the feast of the incarnation, Christmas Eve, and from hyphenated life. We appreciate every single person out there. Who's been a part of helping to make this happen. And, uh, every person who's listened to, even a second of this, uh, we are eternally grateful. And from our heart to yours, we wish you Merry Christmas and happy holidays,Speaker 2:
Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Everybody, a Merry Christmas, David, and same to you, Andrew, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, everybody. Thank you for joining us today. We hope you have a beautiful and special day, and if you don't have a place to worship today, online, you can join us at 5:00 PM today. If you're listening to this on Christmas Eve before 5:00 PM, you can join us on the pine street church, YouTube channel for a special Christmas Eve service again, 5:00 PM today at the pine street church, YouTube channel.Speaker 1:
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