Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom.” Or, translating more closely: The child was growing and was being strengthened, being filled with wisdom. The growingness was something ongoing and continuous; the being strengthened was something ongoing and continuous; the being filled with wisdom was something ongoing and continuous. Jesus grew in this very ordinary, organic, gradual way. Perfectly, completely human.
And: “the image of the invisible God”, as Colossians puts it. Or, in Hebrews: “the exact imprint of God’s very being.” This child who grows into manhood through all the usual stages of growth is the exact image of God. We often think of God as changeless. But in Jesus we see a quality of the divine being that is indeed changing: a living God, growing, exploring, experimenting, reaching, striving, absorbing, renewing. God’s own being is in some profound way living, breathing, growing. Learning? Exploring? Experimenting?
This is the image in which we are made. In our very nature is a preference for the new over the old; a preference for renewal over preservation; a preference for the progressive over the conservative. A preference for the future over the past.
We present ourselves—“we present our selves, our souls and bodies”—here, now, in the Lord’s Temple. At the Lord’s altar. On the feast of Presentation. We present ourselves in a posture of openness to God’s very life in us. An openness to the living, breathing, growing, changing, learning, experimenting, exploring life of the One who is Life.
Whatever was, is no more. That was then; this is now. God’s ever-living, ever-breathing life leads us forward into the new. “Behold, I make all things new.” Which means you, too.
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