By Devon Dick
Yesterday, we celebrated the birth of Jesus as the Christ. John 1: 1, 14, states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." John's gospel makes the unprecedented claim that the Logos (Word) is a person and not merely a principle of reason. In fact, the Logos can be likened to a voice. And especially scandalous - that God became flesh. This is God speaking to the voiceless and speaking on behalf of the voiceless, the hopeless and the helpless.
Nevertheless, it is good to remember that God spoke to bring the created order into being and to declare the Creation story good. God's glory is displayed through the words of Jesus. We can have no clearer view of God than by looking at Jesus. He is the full revelation of God to humans, the complete expression of God in a human body.
Are we really expecting God to speak to our lives? Often, we don't expect God to be part of our human condition. When Jesus, the Anointed One, was born, some people weren't expecting God to addresses their realities. However, God in Jesus intervened on behalf of the voiceless, the weak, the infirm, and the vulnerable.
That God became flesh meant that flesh is sacred, special and good. Indeed, as the Psalmist exclaimed, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." Therefore, nothing is wrong with our soft muscular tissue which covers our skeleton. Nothing is wrong with bodily appetites and desires for food, drink, sex, pleasure, and happiness in the will of God. What is wrong is materialism, which promotes the material as the only reality and the only important matter. Therefore, when Paul speaks about the weakness of the flesh, he is referring to the corrupted, fallen egocentric nature which is selfish.
The paradox is that God selects the voiceless to become His Voice. 1 Corinthians 1: 26 states, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." It is often those who were not wise by human standards, not popular, not well connected, not influential and not of noble birth. The Gospel is heard through feeble words about the mysteries of God. God shows His Grace by choosing those who were considered dumb and dunce according to this world's standards to be His Voice. Those who were dumped, discarded and deserted by friends and families; those who were forsaken and considered failures have been redeemed by the Sacrifice of Jesus.
It is fabulous that when Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years and was voiceless, many became a voice of liberation on his behalf and he was also a voice for the oppressed majority. In 1957, when Jamaica was still a colony and Norman Manley was Premier, Jamaica became the first country in the world to impose a trade embargo against apartheid South Africa. Jamaica was the voice on behalf of the majority who was silenced. The paradox is that the voice of Jamaica was not heard at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa in spite of our heroic struggle and Mandela paying homage to us by being the first country he visited after his release from prison.
Being godlike means to be the voice of the voiceless, that is, those who are victims of violence, ignorance, abuse, poverty, etc. We should continue to work tirelessly for the triumph of peace with justice in Jamaica and the world.
Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete' and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.