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John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

Early Christians did not have any problem convincing people that Jesus was divine. Their world was full of gods and demigods. There was always room for one more.

The sticking point was this thing of Jesus being truly human. It doesn’t make sense. How can God almighty be nailed to a cross and die? How could he have a mom? How can the God whom heaven and earth cannot contain, be born by a girl and laid in a manger? And how can God be just like us—a normal baby with colic and messy diapers and teething fits? A normal man with bodily functions and sweat and indigestion?

I think it’s fair to say that most American Christians are still a lot more comfortable with the idea of Jesus as a shimmering spiritual being, floating three feet above the earth, than with a human Jesus having armpit stains and morning breath.

This is a gift that Native believers can give back to the church. We affirm that Jesus is part of Creation as well as heaven. Yes, Jesus Christ is very God of very God. But Jesus Christ also walks in our moccasins. Scholars call this incarnational theology.

The next baby you see could be Christ himself. The next pregnant girl you see could be the God-bearer. The next refugee family could be the holy family. We could turn the next corner and walk slap into Jesus.

Oh, I know.

We have our theology to defend us. Jesus came first as a human, but next time as a conquering infinite power, kicking tails and taking names. Next time we’ll KNOW when Jesus shows up.

But that’s what the scholars and religious professionals thought the first time. What if our predictions are wrong today as well? Do you really want to risk overlooking Jesus because you think it cannot be him?

If our sacred stories are about how God is working—not how God did work in the rear view mirror—then where would you look for Jesus and Mary today?

Creator, open my eyes to see you in the moccasins of the least, the last, and the lost. Open my heart to seek you today in everyone I meet. Open my mind to believe you are coming today.