MLE read me a piece about advent and the presence of Christ yesterday, and I've been pondering. Not as much about advent itself, or about the distinction between advent and the birth-event, but about incarnation.
Christ came to die.
We have spent so much time, so much energy, so much of our own lives (not to mention the lives of others) tying to escape death; Christ came to die.
We have moved beyond escaping death, and we now try to prolong life--resuscitation is only the beginning. "Trans-humanity" is attempting to wield genetic control over life, to undo the designs that cause decay and dysfunction as we age.
I wonder, though, if the "eternity" that is being sought here isn't even more 'static' (or just plain boring) than the harp-playing in the clouds depicted by cartoonists.
But if death is an awfully big adventure, what of the return home? Christ came to die, and dreaded that death, and sought to escape it, but in the end accepted it--but was is it to die knowing the next part of the story? Resurrection is not simply a return home from war...
Infancy seems so far from death, but this perspective is perhaps a new one: infant mortality is infinitesimal compared to what it was a century ago. The vulnerability, though, of infancy is unchanged. Babies cry out in pain hopelessly, helplessly. So much of life is an adaptation to this state--shifting our helplessness to a delicate balance of what problems we can overcome and which we simply must avoid. But flesh is vulnerable, no matter what.