Back in the Saddle: The Christian calendar, God’s invasion, and the kenosis of Christ

I have been inspired by both the Advent and Christmas seasons to be more committed to blogging with greater consistency and frequency.  I am looking forward to celebrating Epiphany that will be coming up the first week of January. 

Lately, I have been reading up on the Christian calendar.  I became a Christian in a Christian tradition that either ignored or cared little about the Christian year.  I am becoming more appreciative of the rhythms of following a time that is attempting to walking out the gospel narrative in the everyday.

During Advent and the beginning of the Christmas season the Incarnation of God in Christ has captured my imagination.  Especially the kenosis or self-emptying of God to become the Word- or Logos-made-flesh.  The Divine solidaritization of God (Note: I previously had ‘condenscenion’ but a friend of mine reminded me that God becoming incarnate was more about God coming into solidarity with humans) speaks profoundly to me as I reflect upon how racialized our imaginations are in our North American context.  Paul says (in Philippians 2), regarding the kenosis or self-emptying of Christ, that:

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
 6Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
 7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very natureof a servant,
      being made in human likeness.

The incarnation of Christ is the kenosis of God.  It is the shedding of privilege. And coming to a place of soldarity with His creatures.  And Paul says that we are to have the same attitude or mind of Christ in this regard.  What would this mean for Christians who have been enslaved by the ‘principality’ of white privilege and for Christians who have been enslaved by the ‘principality’ of self-hatred. 

Enslavements that are a product of un-righteous or un-just social-political-ecclesial relations. Such enslavements have a long history in the American Church.

What would it mean for Christians during both Advent and the Christmas season to practice kenosis (a radical solidaritization) in our racialized world? 






9 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle: The Christian calendar, God’s invasion, and the kenosis of Christ

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  1. I believe enacting and participating in the rhythms of the church calendar can prompt historical remembrance and recollection and can help to begin a radically holistic journey toward racial reconciliation.

    Grace and peace to you, my friend. You can’t imagine how grateful I am for you in 2005 and look forward to 2006 and beyond.

  2. In a country like Malaysia, I’m reminded of “other” calendars all time. The Chinese Lunar Calendar especially when it’s near Chinese new year. Then the Muslim Calendar when it’s the month of Ramadan. the Hindhu Calender during their festivals so it came to a point when I “re-discovered” the rhythms oof the church/christian year and it became so liberating and nourishing! I find myself more aware of “walking with Christ” in time and history …

  3. Phil,

    And I am grateful for your friendship as well brother. I have learned alot from you and about myself these past several months. I appreciate your wisdom and insight.

    God’s blessings on you and your family…especially the little one.


  4. Sivin,

    Brother. You hit the nail on the head when you said this:

    “I find myself more aware of “walking with Christ” in time and history …”

    Yes indeed! We are walking with Christ in time and history. This rhythm of following ‘gospel time’, as I like to call it, makes one more aware of following Christ in his death and rising. Participating in a more in depth way. Learning the fellowship of his sufferings, knowing the power of his resurrection.

    Have a blessed Christmas season and Epiphany!


  5. Hey Brotha,

    I like your new site. I’ve been thinking about doing something different with mine as well.

    Tell me, why did you go with wordpress instead of typepad or any others?


  6. Tell me, why did you go with wordpress instead of typepad or any others?

    WordPress is now providing free hosting, sort of like blogger. TypePad charges a monthly fee. That’s probably the reason. Having said that, WordPress is light-years ahead of blogger in almost every measure. And it’s also better than TypePad.

  7. Postmodernegro, Thanks for the provocative post. Yes. The Son of God incarnated to be in solidarity with us. And as his body we’re to live out that solidarity with each other, as servants.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


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