Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The incarnation: Making it meaningful to be human

Of all the things God has done for us, few are as earth-shattering as taking on human flesh and being born as Jesus of Nazareth. Everyone now who shares that human flesh -- you and me and the other 6 billion of us -- has had our worth affirmed by God himself. We share this mortal flesh we have with no less than the immortal God.

We may look at human heroes and know that their great achievements and courage uplift us all. We know that being human is a remarkable thing. But then they died. Every one of them. Meaninglessness overtook them.

But to know that God himself took this same flesh, from that event it follows that simply being human touches the divine, because God lived among us as one of us. From God's birth as a human, it follows that the human life has dignity and is worth living. The small and the humble things of this world now have value.

Who would have the heart or the courage to dare to love, if humanity had no dignity? Who could look their loved ones in the eye and smile, if the grave was the end of it all, and all that passed until then was meaningless?

When God became man, he did more than give us our hope back, more than restore our dignity. He gave us this world back as a thing that could hold the divine.


Tony said...

Thanks for posting this. I had been thinking about it this whole season, and it really made Christmas more special to me - at least on a spiritual level. The Word of God - the coeternal and coexistent Person of the Trinity - becoming flesh and partaking with His own creation...that's a HUGE thing. It's a monumental moment in history. And it seems like people really, really take it for granted. They act as if some historical figure who lived and died within a finite amount of time was born, when in fact this Person was always there, was there at our beginning, and will be there at our end. The fact He deemed Himself unworthy to remain on the same level with the Father and humbled Himself for our sake...again, when you think that way, the holiday truly becomes mind-boggling.

Weekend Fisher said...

I've heard of theologians who suspect that the Incarnation was the plan all along -- whether man had needed redemption or not. Why else make us in the image of God? I suspect they're right, that incarnation was the goal/end of creation, that creation was always intended to be blessed.

Martin LaBar said...

Jan 4, 09: That's a fine last sentence.