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I remember the first time I encountered the word “incarnation.” I was a Freshman in college and had agreed to teach a class of teenagers at a VBS. One of the lessons was on the “Incarnation of Christ.” How had I been in church all of my life and never heard that word?
I had heard of “reincarnation” and I knew we certainly didn’t believe in that. But what about incarnation? Did God really take on human form in the person of Jesus? I’m glad we don’t have to understand exactly HOW God did that to believe it. I have learned to be content with the mystery that surrounds the nature of God. I’ve finally decided that to fully understand the Trinity one would have to be God himself.
Perhaps this is why I have come to appreciate the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:1-18). Matthew and Luke have the birth narrative of Jesus but John gives us the backstory. “In the beginning was the Word” is how John begins. He proceeds to let the reader know that “the Word was God”. John doesn’t explain it; he just proclaims it. When you get to verse 14 he identifies “the Word” with Jesus himself, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
Thank you God for loving us so much that you became one of us that we might receive eternal life and become your children through Christ’s re-creation. Amen.