THREE RIVERS DISTRICT
As we draw closer to the celebration of Christmas this year, it may be worth pausing to ask, “What’s really at the center of this celebration?” Of course, the answer is obvious: the birth of Jesus. But if I may wax theological for a few moments, we can look more deeply and see that the birth of Jesus was about the incarnation of God. “The Word became flesh [that’s what “incarnation” means] and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God cared enough about us to become incarnate in our midst. Why? To be present in the world in a way that was visible, tangible, earthly, real. God wanted to be present, alive, in our midst. That’s incarnation, part 1.
Incarnation, part 2 (or maybe it’s all an extension of part 1) is about the presence of God becoming incarnate in you, in us. That’s what Jesus demonstrated and taught in his life among us. That was also the heart of his prayer for us:
“The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are— I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me” (John 17:21-23, The Message).
So here’s a question: In what ways is God incarnate in you in this season? (Or for that matter anytime?) As you live into that, do your best to help people see that. For example, when you sing (or hear) Christmas songs this year, listen for hints of incarnation. When you give gifts, when you gather together with others, look for (and show forth) signs of incarnation. You may just help this season become a more blessed one for others… and for yourself.
Dr. Bradley G Call
“I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of the world — into the black places in the hearts of people — and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise.” – (Alexander Papaderos)
Three Rivers District
Rev. Dr. Brad Call
415 Walnut St
Coshocton OH 43812
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
*Closed Fridays in July and August
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