“Since man is made of clay, he can never be completely pure. Since clay is basically foul, how can humans escape their basic nature? Purity does not lie in rituals, nor can human nature be changed by effort. Those who love God and remain conscious only of their Beloved attain purity.” Al-Hujwiri, “The Kashf al-Mahjub”
I find this ayat from Al-Hujwiri interesting as we Christian prepare to welcome our God into the flesh of a baby in a manger. I have grown weary of all the”Jesus is the Reason…” bojazz. It has become divisive and mute as the economy has faltered in this nation and abroad we have got to find a better way to host the joy, faith, love, and peace we embrace during Advent as e anticipate the arrival of our swaddling salvation.
Look at the ayat from the Qur’an above. It points to the vile nature of humanity as we are made from clay. I think we forget this and wash over the dirty foundations of our kind as we look to the smiling face of the infant Jesus ling so docile like in a manger. We sing about the ideological ease at which Jesus, Joseph, and Mary arrive to Bethlehem and into the annals of history. The Christian focus tomorrow will be upon the gift of Jesus and our hearts will be on what we did or did not get from those special or not so special folks in our lives.
Our Muslims sisters and brothers offer us a wonderful place to reflect here on the nature of Jesus the Christ. Jesus was not born of special stock. Jesus was born of Mary and sat in her stomach connected via an umbilical cord. jesus was passed through Mary’s vaginal canal and into the world. Mary had afterbirth and pain with the delivery. This was an entry of God in to this world that defied all kinds of taboo. This was no triumphant entry in to the world. There were no parades, adulation, or Lion King like displays of divine origin. Jesus formed in his mothers womb was fearfully & wonderfully made as we all have been. Jesus suckling from his mothers breast offers hope to us all. Jesus made of clay as were Eve & Adam, pointing a way of reconciliation and hope, faith, love, and joy.
“Purity does not lie in rituals, nor can human nature be changed by effort. Those who love God and remain conscious only of their Beloved attain purity.” It is Jesus the Christ that shines light to the hope present in relationship with God and with each other. Jesus the Christ calls our attention away from false rituals that plague the intimacy God desires with us. We cannot perform anything to earn or buy grace, for it is free delivered in this broken world uttered from the lips of a child. Listen to the Spirit move in your hearts beloved for God whispers a delight that beckons for your ears to hear.