“Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'”–Galatians 3:13 (The Message)
A cursed life! Words that make me look at my life and shake my head. A year ago, on my way home for Christmas, my car died 35 miles from my hometown. I sat in my car waiting for my dad to come rescue me. That night, in the bitter ND cold, I felt cursed. Why couldn’t my car have made it another 30 miles?
In addition, we look back over our lives and it feels cursed, doesn’t it? When we hear that awful cancer word, when someone we love gets sick or passes away unexpectedly, when we are faced with doubts and hard decisions, when the mental health diagnoses takes place and so much more! Those events feel cursed. As a child (and even now) it doesnt seem fair that mom lives with a mental illness. In fact, I have found myself using visceral words to embody the depth of the pain and curses I feel in my own life. I’m not usually a swearer, but sometimes in the curses of life, those words sometimes are the only words that capture my own deep frustration and pain.
Even today, it often feels like our world is cursed. Cursed because we haven’t shown each other radical love. Cursed because we don’t listen fully to one another. Cursed because there is so much hatred, evil and darkness in our world. One doesn’t need to look far to see this evil and hatred. I think of the children in Aleppo whose cries no longer are heard. I think of those who live each day in fear of their own lives.
I hear these words from Galatians and I can’t help but cling to the promise of this one who is born in a barn; in a stinky smelly barn surrounded by his loving parents. Mary and Joseph perhaps could’ve seen this as a curse, but in all honesty, it’s a beautiful reminder that Christ climbs down into the pit with us. Christ reminds us always that he is Emmanuel; God with us. God with us in the manger in Bethlehem. God with us as Christ hung on the cross. God with us as Christ overcomes death and the grave.
And because this holy child comes to change the world and us, I must still cling to the hope that is born in this holy child. I must believe in the midst of my own questions and doubts. I must simply believe in this one who calls each and everyone of us beloved.
For God loved us so much, God sent Gods one and only son into the world for each and every one of us; Gods beloved children. And because God gave God’s Son for you and me and all of God’s beloved children, I believe!