Filial & Fraternal
The beauty, the power, the vulnerability of a child!
Baby Jesus is Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father and Prince-of-Peace (Isaiah 9).
The Child Jesus calls us to lifetime-conversion:
Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18).
John the Baptist called for moral conversion. Jesus called for conversion to spiritual childhood:
Children have many defects: They speak out of turn, they break things, they get into the cookie jar when they aren’t supposed to.
But there is one thing a child will ordinarily do that adults often will not. If you give a child a gift, he will take it (Montague, Companion God, 214).
To accept the gift offered by Jesus means a new way of relating with God and a new way of relating with our fellow human beings:
To know God as ‘Abba’ one must be a child, and that would also mean entering into a barrier-free community with all God’s children.
Moral conversion is one thing, filial-fraternal conversion quite another:
It means to accept a new way of imaging God, self, and others. It is not sufficient to be ‘good.’ One must be filial and fraternal (214).