Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Today, let us reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation — the Christmas portion of our faith. (If you do not accept this as an article of faith, then just consider it as a beautiful story; it still has power; it still can have tremendous meaning for you.)
St. John says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus saves us as man. Incarnation. Carnal: meat, flesh. Our God became flesh. He emptied himself of his equality with God and became as humans are (Philippians 2). The Father sent his Son into our world to identify with us. To become one of us and with us. God likes the human race! In Jesus, a marriage is made between God and the human race.
But this article of our Christian faith often doesn’t dawn on folks. Many think he was just play-acting – pretending to be human.
I offer this passage (excerpted) from S. Gregory Nazianzen, bishop and doctor of the church in the fourth century from the Advent Office of Readings:
“He [Jesus] takes to himself all that is human, except sin (unfaithfulness) .
He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit.
Spirit gave divinity, flesh receives it.
He who makes rich is made poor;
he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of divinity.
He who was full is made empty;
he is emptied for a brief space of glory, that I may share in his fullness.
We need God to become one of us and with us.
To help us like and love ourselves.
To realize that Love and Beauty and all good things are our destiny.
To invite us to our future instead of destroying ourselves.
If only we believed.
If only we believed.
Take time today to allow this story of God’s love affair with the human race to touch you,
embrace you, heal your heart.
and transform your life as it has mine.
And continues to do so, day after day after day
because I, for one, really, really, really like being caught up in Love.
And for your listening pleasure here is more from Handel’s Messiah. Every valley shall be exalted.
priest / writer