Intersecting with our Daily Reality
By Helen Noh (PhD ’04)
So often, as believers, there is the tendency to live out a compartmentalized faith, where our knowledge of God runs parallel to our everyday reality, with very few moments of intersection throughout our journey. We know it is God who created the universe, put the stars in the sky, and knows every hair on our head—and yet, in the midst of the reality of broken relationships and woundedness, we wrestle with such a deep sense of inadequacy and worthlessness. We know that being created in the image of God, we are profoundly relational and created to be “naked and unashamed” before one another, yet continue to hide behind the reality of our fig leaves of self-protection and self-sufficiency. Thus for many, including myself, we live out much of our lives in the gap between our refined theology and our incongruent reality.
Christmas to me, during this season of my life, is about the translation of my theology into reality—through the birth of Jesus, who came into the world to become the very point of intersection. For it is through the birth of Christ that God himself tore the veil that separated humanity from himself, now making it possible for us to not only know of him, but to encounter and enter into his presence with intimacy and freedom. It is through the birth of our Lord Jesus that the promises of God—in his much larger, much grander narrative—are fulfilled, reminding us that we love and serve a God who remembers and is faithful in keeping his Word. Finally, it is through the birth of Jesus Christ that the world encounters the unexpected presence of God living, walking, rejoicing, and suffering amongst us, instilling within us the strength and hope that we are not alone on this journey, but that through the most unassuming moments, God is there.
Thus as I sit in the silence of God’s presence, taking this very intentional moment to reflect upon this Christmas season, I am reminded of the profound significance of Christ’s birth as the translation of my own theology into my everyday reality….a reality in which I choose to respond to the pursuing heart of God through moments of being still in his presence and knowing that he is truly God. A reality in which I seek to experience his presence through times of both rejoicing and suffering, knowing with just a little greater certainty that he is here walking alongside me. A reality in which I daily find the courage to surrender my own understanding of him, so that I may encounter God in the most unexpected moments. This Christmas season, I am so grateful for a God who meets us at this point of intersection each day, drawing us deeper into the reality of his love for us and life within us….a reality that has come through the celebratory birth of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Helen Noh, who earned her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller in 2004, maintains a private counseling practice and teaches as an adjunct professor at Tyndale University and Seminary in Toronto, Canada.
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