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A guest post by my partner and fellow minister, Jim Kast-Keat. A poem he wrote reflecting on the gravity of Immanuel – God with us.
If someone tells you about a newborn baby who does not cry
You know without thinking that it is a lie.
Except as a child this is the story we take:
“The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.”
Wake a baby up with a cow’s loud mooing
and that baby will cry, wail, and probably start poo-ing.
Jesus is no angel, he doesn’t shit golden nuggets.
He screams and he cries and he wails because it’s
A manger he’s in, no crib for a bed.
And so the little human Jesus screams off his human head.
He’s a baby boy and he is human fully,
born in crap, this holy of holies
With feet made for walking and eyes made for seeing
this Jesus is the true human being.
His feet on the ground he declares this world holy,
embracing it all, shitty and lowly
He lets go of heaven only to find
that it been here with us the whole entire time.
The goal, he shows us, is not to escape
but to dig your toes deeper until they feel the shape
Of the shit that we live in, the mess that we are,
because its Holy and broken and full of laughter and scars.
Divinity is not a qualitatively different reality;
quite the reverse, divinity is fully realized humanity.
The goal of life, then, isn’t to become something we’re not
but to become what we are: human, full of holy shit and sacred snot
It is in the crucifixion of our self-images idealized
that we discover our true being, humanity fully realized.
And in Jesus we see what it means to be human,
to embrace life to its fullest, to know that it is more than
A rat race to the spaceship we’re told to call heaven,
because life is for living, not an otherworldly obsession.
So we live each day, full of shit and sunshine,
discovering it to be holy, a night divine.
Jim Kast-Keat is the Associate Minister for Education at Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York City. He is a divergent thinker, an ideation specialist, and an aspiring minimalist. Prior to working at Middle he helped lead ikonNYC in New York, NY, worked as a Product Designer with Sparkhouse in Minneapolis, MN and was a pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Jim has more ideas than he knows what to do with, most of which come to life in thirty seconds or less as one of his daily podcasts. To listen to Jim’s thirty second rantings go to thirtysecondsorless.net or follow him on twitter at @jimkastkeat.