'Incarnation' is a term used to refer to the amazing event that occurred with the conception and birth of Jesus Christ: that he who is God became man, not in a way in which his deity was suspended or his humanity changed, but in a way in which he was, at the same time, both fully God and fully man, without alteration or reduction of either.

Our finite and ego-centric minds rebel against this concept and try to find some explanation that will set aside the offence [for those who have a unitarian faith], the foolishness [for those who believe that spirit is the supreme or only reality and that flesh is either evil or an illusion], and the impossibility [for those who think only in the naturalistic, materialistic  terms of human reason.]

But here in the incarnation the offensive happens: God, who is one, exists as the eternal Father, the eternal Son and the eternal Spirit.

Here in the incarnation the foolish happens: God, who is spirit, takes on flesh.

Here in the incarnation the impossible happens: God who is eternal and infinite, locks himself into a human body bounded and hemmed in by time and space.

But also here in the incarnation our ignorance of God is addressed:

            The invisible becomes visible
            The unknowable becomes known
            The supposed myth becomes concrete history
            The hidden mystery becomes open information
            Darkness becomes glorious light

In this incarnation God comes to us in our rebellion, our ignorance, our darkness, our lostness, and says to us 'This is who I am. This is what I am. Believe in me. Receive me, here in the person of my Son, Jesus of Nazareth.'

Let us look beyond this weak baby and see the Almighty God.

Let us look beyond the poverty of his stable birth and see him who owns the whole universe.

Let us look beyond his low social estate and see the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let us look beyond the offence, the foolishness, the impossibility and see the overwhelming love of God that did even this offensive, foolish, impossible thing, this incarnation, for us men and for our salvation.

This infant hand upon the straw -
So new, so weak, so small:
Can it belong to Him - the eternal Lord of all?
The One who formed the worlds
And holds them in His power,
Who gives them form and life,
And keeps them hour by hour?
Can it belong to Him - Who bore the cursed tree
And from the law of sin and death
By dying set us free?
This infant hand - yes, this is He
Who claims us for eternity.


Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007, 2015