Advent Day 24 – Incarnation
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory….”
Incarnation is not a Biblical word. It is a theological one and creates a category and a language system by which we can try and grasp its meaning. It is not an easy reality for us to put our minds around.
Dorothy Sayers, a British essayist, and novelist, said:
The incarnation means that for whatever reason God chose to let us fall… to suffer, to be subject to sorrows and death—he has nonetheless had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine…. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He himself has gone through the whole of human experience—from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death…. He was born in poverty and… suffered infinite pain—all for us—and thought it well worth His while.
God became flesh. He became One of His created beings, in a body that was prepared for Him. But this was no special protective armor He entered. It was as vulnerable as you or me, as humanity as we are, and required an enormous humility to undertake.
God became flesh. He became flesh to enter into our struggles, our restrictions, our limitations, and our joys and our pain. He came as a Jewish man in the most difficult part of their history as a people, under the occupation of Rome.
And He became a servant. Not just a “houseboy” or a waiter. He became a “slave” literally. He was treated as, and died as a slave: No honor, no respect, no rights, no sympathy. Slaves were little more than tools that bled.
Yet in that humility, the Bible tells us “we beheld His glory.” Though He had laid aside the privileges of equality with God (See Philippians 2), His glory continued to shine through. And it shines through to us at Christmas as we visit and sing anew the wonders of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
“Veiled in flesh, the godhead see, hail th’incarnate deity…”