Incarnation

michelle-in-front-of-yonahMy Christmas blog is running a bit behind schedule due to the glorious fact I had all four kids home for the holidays.  Hopefully even though it is late, it will still be meaningful. 

It is the season of Emanuel…God with us…God incarnate.  The word incarnation literally means “the act of becoming flesh.”  Light turned into life.  Beauty transformed into breath.  Spirit converted to skin.  Presence translated into person.  A miracle really.  God to Earth in such a way as to relate and commune with us.  It is where the idea of Christmas miracles was first formed…an awareness that we all have around this time of the year that miracles are possible.  It is hope birthed.

An odd choice to come as a baby…hidden away in a stable.  Not the usual place one looks for God.   To find him, one had to search him out.  Still does.  Glory surrounded by skin is not so obvious. There is something about that flesh that blots out the holiness from the naked eye. It is a veil.  That baby-God was not visible. In that time, he was simply another baby born to a poor couple.  And though his deity was invisible and difficult to spot when looking, hearts felt it.  When people gazed upon him, their spirits leapt.  The mystery of incarnation was more of a hunch than an understanding.  It begged to be followed.  Curiosity drew shepherds and kings.  They sensed significance.  Maybe it was the angels…or the star…or maybe it was the internal nudge of recognition of God wrapped in skin.

Searching and searching to find the promise, but then what to do with him when he was found.  What to do with this babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, who was an outward symbol of an inward truth…a reflection of the very character of God. Go and see, then what?  Even in the appointed time and place, there was the question ringing out…what does it all mean? The incarnate God didn’t explain.  In fact, he waited 33 years to demonstrate the implication of the birth…allowing curiosity to guide hearts, rather than a crown to draw crowds. A God for the curious rather than the powerful.

The flesh was ripped open and still the question…what does it all mean?  Confusion. Searching. Curiosity. Then the light from the tomb, and glory seeped out to become visible for a time.  Understanding. Lightbulb moment. The flesh was but a vehicle for the LOVE.  The body a home for the hope.  All wrapped up…like a gift at Christmas. All that had to be done was for it to be unwrapped, the outer layers pulled off to reveal what was inside. It was a gruesome unwrapping, yet the gift inside was beyond expectation.  Glory, freely offered.  Grace, liberally given.  The only requirement was to receive it…still is.

Receive the incarnation, God with us…so we can have God IN us, still veiled by flesh…our own.  Still sought out by the curious.  Still hidden away in unusual and unexpected places…in hearts, not buildings.  Still recognized when spirits leap and ask the question, what does it all mean?  Emanuel. God with us. The miracle and gift of Christmas.  Still being unwrapped and revealed…to the curious.

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2 thoughts on “Incarnation

  1. Hi Michelle,
    I remember in catechism classes, the nuns trying to teach us about the Immaculate Conception and the birth of Jesus. When we questioned them, they would tell us to believe and not question. It was God’s mystery. As an adult, we believe it is a miracle from God that we accept by faith alone. Yet, the whole concept of God is difficult to understand.
    How can an entity (God) be infinite. Doesn’t it have to have beginning or an end? How can God be everywhere and into everything? How could he have created the Universe and still be Loving and caring for every living thing. It boggles the mind.
    Yet, over 2,000 years ago, God became flesh in order than man might have a concept based on humanity of His Infinite Love. It is no wonder that men and women have difficulty getting their hands around it.
    All we have to do is witness that Love at work in our lives and the lives of others and it makes sense. You don’t need to understand. All you need to do is accept and immerse yourself in the beauty and the intensity of His Gift to us.
    It is by faith alone that God gives His Gift of Love that is beyond understanding. Nothing we can do is worthy of this Gift, yet he gives it to us unconditionally if we only believe. Amen.
    This is beautifully written as all yours are.They are from the heart and a joy to read.You know what I think? You are a true witness of God’s Love at work. God Bless.

    • I could talk for hours about God. I just love him. My mind has always longed to know more spiritually. My heart has jumped in fully. I hope to have some of him rub off on me so I can “be a witness.” Thanks so much for your kind words Chuck!

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