CHRISTMAS: The Trinity’s Musings

By Fr. David Thayer, P.S.S.

Once, not and upon, but in the fullness of time, the Trinity turned its internal conversation to the subject of humanity. “What more can we do for them?” asked the Father. “They never seem to get the message about how deeply we (or is it I? – I can never get this being/person thing grammatically correct) love them. They keep on missing the point, trying to buy our love rather than simply enjoying it.”

“I know,” said the Son, “there is only one thing left we can do. I will become one of them. I know that that will further confuse this being/person language, but it is the only way they will truly begin to understand that we only want to be one with them. I’m the best candidate for the job, for I am the Word through which not only everything was created, but by which humanity defines itself.”

The Trinity smiled at this, because they immediately knew that the only way the Word could fully express God’s union with humanity was by taking on the silence of an infant – God’s powerlessness was the only power through which human beings would understand the depths of God’s desire.

So the Spirit set out to touch the longing of human hearts with the hope of promise fulfilled in prophecy.

“But you can’t go just as a baby,” the Father declared. “You’ll have to go as a king. Only then will they understand that we mean what we say. Human beings like to listen to the voices of authority. They give them an assurance of security.”

“But, if l go as a king. I’ll be trapped in politics and court intrigue,” responded the Son. “I’ll never get the message of our love out to the people who really need to hear it, the poor and the oppressed. After all, isn’t that part of why I need to become silent, so the silent can speak and be heard?”

The Trinity pondered this dilemma for almost an instant – a long time by divine standards, until the Father decided, “What if you were born in a stable? That could be your palace, a palace where the poor are surely welcome.”

Hearing this, the Trinity grinned at the irony. In poverty humanity would find profligacy.

So the Spirit set out and whispered an inspiration into the heart of Caesar Augustus, “It’s time for a census of the whole world.”

“You’ll still need some courtiers,” contended the Father. “You can’t be a king without being surrounded by an entourage. It’s expected.”

“But, then we’ll have the same problem,” replied the Son. “Royal visitors will insist that I be moved immediately to the protection of some castle. Castles are signs of humanity’s fear, especially of war. But I can only go with the message of peace. Only when people embrace peace with all their hearts will they find freedom, the freedom to love even the stranger. Anything other than that would deny the unity of who we are.”

“So, we’ll make the courtiers shepherds and the advisors magicians and foreigners,” responded the Father, with an omniscience that resolved impossible dilemmas all the time. “Neither will have the power to make you conform to their wishes. We’ll meet their expectations by giving them the unexpected. People think shepherds are too uneducated to know anything, even if we know better; and who ever listens to wise men?”

At this, the Trinity chuckled. The idea of country bumpkins having mastered royal etiquette and ivory tower types convincing others about what they knew was positively slapstick. But then, so was the message that the extraordinary is always best found in the ordinary.

So the Spirit rushed forth with orders for the angels. “We’ll need new hymns of praise, and a bright new star. Polish them both until they positively shine.”

When everything was ready, in the stillest moments of the night – the best time for theophanies – shepherds stumbled over themselves as they tried to squeeze into a backwater hovel. Wise men set out in haste, forgetting their lunches, to follow a star. Angel choruses filled the heavens with song to accompany the divine birth giving laughter.

When the Father and the Spirit looked down upon a sleeping infant, stirring in his sleep with the seed of a dream forged in eternity, they were overcome with silence. And as they gazed upon the rapt contemplation of Mary as she beheld her child and saw the fugue in the expression of Joseph as he sought a not so distant future, they smiled. The silence of those two in all this cacophony meant that they understood and would parent the message until he would be engraved in the hearts of all.

Christmas 2005