My Time and My Culture

For some reason which escapes me, I’ve been on a “begotten” roll in these recent posts. It is not intentional, but it just turns out that way. So it is today.

my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

Galatians 4:19

Jesus is birthed in people

The apostle Paul uses a compelling analogy of Paul being “in the anguish of childbirth.” Those words paint a vivid picture for us. And what is Paul birthing? It’s Jesus being formed in the Galatians. A German monk used this analogy, but he turned it around to point to himself. He wrote: 

“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.”

Meister Eckhart, 1260-1328, German Dominican monk

Arriving with a purpose

Childbirth is painful. I’ve seen it. Extended childbirth cannot be comprehended except by another mother that has experienced it. Yet here, in Galatians 4:19, Paul intones the idea of extended pain by writing, “until Christ is formed in you!”

When the Word of God comes into us, it arrives with a purpose. It arrives in the fulness of time; a will that extends beyond us. We hear, receive, die, germinate, and birth Jesus, by God’s Living Word. His birth is in us, for our time and our culture.

God made a place for us for the good of others

None of these events are produced by us, nor do we contribute to their efficacy. Still, in God’s beautifully crafted will, He has made a place for us. For each Christian, He has ordained a purpose; He has set aside a people; He has established a time. So here we are. Jesus lives in and through us. Are we isolating Jesus, or are we tearing down our walls, letting God’s Son out of us and into our time, into our culture? That is the preeminent question for every Christian right now.

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

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