You know, Jesus never asked people to worship him. Never! He spoke of what has been called the ‘Anonymous Christ’? In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus made it clear that everyone we meet, everyone we serve, is a personification of the divine. He told us that the kingdom of God was within each of us (cf Lk 17:21). The difference between Jesus, at least as portrayed in the Gospels, and us is simply one of degree and not kind. Like Dr Martin Luther King, Jr [pictured right], Dr Leslie D Weatherhead, Dr Samuel Angus and many other ministers and theologians whom I admire, I dismiss the notion of there having been any inherent divinity in Jesus. His so-called divinity---fully revealed in the grandeur of his humanity---was achieved and not bestowed.
In Biblical terms, Jesus’ incarnation continues all the time, in us and in other people. We read about the Anonymous Christ in the context of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats:
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
In short, the Christ child is born when you or I ... wake up! Each one of us must surrender, let go, and die to self, indeed die to the very idea that there is a separate, independent, permanent self at the core of our being, in order that a new sense of being---metaphorically and symbolically, a new-born baby---may be ‘born’ in our psyche. And remember this -- the Christ child is born in a stable, and not an inn, that is, in abject humility and no-thing-ness.