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Posted by on Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to All

Adorazione del Bambino - Fra Angelico

Adorazione del Bambino - Fra Angelico

Christmas is upon us here in Santa Cruz, California. It’s been a lovely, sunny day for Christmas Eve. Not hot, but not cold either. A fine day for a walk by the ocean. Tomorrow promises to be as lovely.

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the great miracle that is life. I don’t do church work for a living. Randy and I work as consultants in the design of health care services and delivery of care, among other things.  One of my areas of expertise is translation of health care related materials into Spanish. These past couple of months, I’ve been working on a glossary of terms for a basic Biology textbook. It’s been absolutely fascinating.

Over 30 years ago, I graduated from Gonzaga University with undergraduate majors in Biology and Spanish. Through the years, I’ve combined the interests in a lot of ways, but I really haven’t had the chance to keep completely up to date with my knowledge of science. As a result, a lot of what I’m translating is new information for me. I’m spending a lot of time on the Internet, learning the new basics of Chemistry, Biology and Enviornmental Sciences so I can translate the definitions in a way that they will make sense in another language. I spend a lot of that time reading in Spanish, to find correct technical terms for things like “blebbing” and “Wobble base pairing of nucleotides,” as well as whether a particular metabolic pathway is generally called a “ruta” or a “vía.” As I said, it’s been a fascinating, though time consuming project.

So what does this have to do with theology and Christmas? The thing that keeps blowing my mind is that all that I see around me, all the people in my life, all the wonders of nature and of technology, all keep going because of simple positive and negative charges in atoms and the way those atoms interact with each other! Without those very fundamental chemical reactions, none of this, none of us, would even be, let alone be who and what we are. And yet, beyond the chemistry that underlies the biology, there is a spark of Divine life within each of us as humans. There is something that makes us different. While we can sometimes be as blind to other possiblities as the family cat who couldn’t figure out this morning that she could go around her perch to get up on it and eat her breakfast away from the neighbor cats, we do have the capacity to look at a challenging situation or something that is different than we expected and find new  and different solutions.  And we can think up new and better ways to do things, making life easier for all. We can choose to do great evil, but we can also choose to do great good. That spark of Divine life is a tremendous gift.

And then we come to Christmas. And at Christmas we remember that the Creator of all, the One who Is and Was and Ever Will Be, the One who loves all of creation into being and keeps us in existence with love, didn’t stop with being above it all and loving it into being. God chose to become one of us. And on top of that, God became a baby boy. A tiny, helpless child. All I can say is, Wow. We are truly blessed.

Merry Christmas to all. May this coming year be one of great joy and peace for you, through all the challenges you face, and may you know deeply the great love of our God who is Father/Parent, Son/Brother and Holy Spirit of Love.

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