Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was having trouble sleeping. Night after night she would demand that one of her parents hold her for hours until she fell asleep.
They realized they couldn’t go on like this forever. One night, they sat her down and tried to convince her that she was not really alone in her bedroom.
“God is with you, beside you, watching out for your every minute, Sweetheart,” they said. “You’re never alone.”
Rev. Molly Baskette
She listened thoughtfully, nodding the whole time. But at the end of their passionate plea she said patiently, “Could you still stay with me? I know God is here, but right now I really need someone with a little more skin.”
A newcomer to my church, a young woman who had not been raised in any religious tradition, was baptized this year.
At the time of her baptism, she didn’t understand intellectually what baptism was all about, but just felt a strong spirit leading her to do it anyhow.
When we sat down to talk about it, she said: I feel like this is the right place to be, but I’m just not sure what I believe about Jesus.
I summed up for her what it means to me that Jesus is the incarnate—literally, en-fleshed—version of God. “This is what I believe: God made us as part of the long, epic process of Creation; made us, in fact, because nothing else that God had made had satisfied the loneliness God felt. So God made us, and loved us, but it wasn’t quite enough. God couldn’t get close enough, still. So God took on human skin to entirely share our experience, to learn total empathy by sharing every iota of what it means to be a human being fully alive, and to be as close to us as possible: hugging, crying, eating. The incarnation is no more complicated than that.”
Maybe you don’t know quite how you feel about the adult Jesus.
Maybe you don’t know enough about him.