The Incarnation

     I’m such a fan of the Incarnation.

     Philippians 2:5-11 says in The Message,

“Christ had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human…”

     This is such an incredible doctrine.

     The idea that God — the One we call Transcendent, the One we call the Ultimate Mystery, the One we say is Highest, Holiest, and altogether unlike us — joined Himself with human flesh, forever.

     Aside from dying for us on the Cross, how could this Being better display His radical humility?

     Because of the Incarnation, we see that divinity and humanity are not entirely separate realities. Our human experience — our bodies, our personalities, our full range of emotions… even our weaknesses and limitations — it is not offensive to God. He wears it as His own. He joins us in our suffering, our pain and our finite-ness. And He’s chosen to do this on purpose.

“Our human experience… is not offensive to God. He wears it as His own.”

     What once seemed like a distant, ethereal spiritual reality is now as tangible and relatable as any other mortal brother or sister.

     Further, we see that God is not an abstract force, a consciousness, or merely the ground of all being. God actually has a face. We can look at His iconic Image and say with so much clarity that He is indeed beautiful.

     All of this is because God is eternally personified in Jesus. And we did not come up with this idea… He did!

“God is eternally personified in Jesus.”

     In lowering Himself to our level, God destroyed our idolatrous concept of Him being a proud, distant, authoritarian leader sitting on a lofty throne. Instead, He is Immanuel, “God with us.” He has revealed Himself as the kind of Deity who walks and serves and shares in life through our eyes. His strength looks like meekness displayed at full force.

     No longer can our Lord be accused of being aloof and unmoved by our situation. He is present and involved. He is a co-participant in our often mundane and difficult existence. He bends to our level, held back by nothing from pursuing connection with our hearts.

     And in becoming one of us, Christ dignified and divinized our race. He showed that to be human is not to be lacking in glory. We look at this Man and see what it is like to be a beloved son of God. He displayed an identity we can all walk in, without first ascending through religious rituals into some higher state.

“He displayed an identity we can all walk in, without first ascending through religious rituals into some higher state.”

     We are fully accepted and fully understood, right down here where we are. This is a Message of Heaven’s reconciliatory peace, favor and good will to all on earth (Luke 2:14).

     This is why I love Christmas.

     Happy Advent everyone. The Lord has come!

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