just in time for advent, tony asked his readers to describe ‘what the Incarnation tells us about God, human beings, creation, the Cosmos, the End Times, Heaven, Hell, salvation, or anything else… from a Progressive Christian perspective.’
no big deal.
i contend the act of the incarnation was the movement of the divine toward humanity; from the holy toward the common; from the pure to the unclean; from word to flesh.
fellow TJ reader rob davis writes ::
“The incarnation” is not an historical event that happened. Incarnation is what happens when we love – ourselves, one another and all of “Creation.” In this sense, the entire universe is birthed from and shot through with divinity…
What if the most radically Christian thing that we can do is simply be?
he concludes, ‘Incarnation happens. Are we paying attention?’
so often the process of our faith journey is enveloped in language around doing and believing the ‘right’ things.
our desire to bring about the unity for which jesus prayed has historically lent itself to a demand for uniformity in belief and behavior.
anyone dancing outside the sandboxes we’re most comfortable playing in are considered ‘misguided,’ ‘unorthodox,’ or even ‘lost’.
perhaps the incarnation teaches us that the divisions between us/them || clean/unclean || holy/common || in/out || sacred/profane || grace/law || et cetera are things of the past?
it’s worth talking about.
yet in order to even begin to hold these conversations from a truly christian perspective – to join with what the holy spirit of God is doing among people of (and without) faith – i am convinced an intentional desire for understanding God’s departure from division and his commitment to reconciliation is needed.
even for jesus, as brian mclaren recently pointed out,
‘it is permissible to say, ‘The Scriptures say…but I say otherwise,’ if the otherwise takes us in the direction of greater compassion, kindness, nonviolence, and reconciliation.’
in the midst of a world at the boiling point of religious tensions and hostility, a conversation such as this is desperately needed. particularly in light of a globally hostile religious climate which begs for a better way forward… a way to move beyond and rise above the cycle of violence between faiths before we find ourselves immersed in what mclaren has previously called a last-tango, nuclear-biochemical kamikaze crusade jihad.
that not-so distant reality is, for those paying attention, close enough to taste. what does the incarnation have to say in this regard?
could it be that an embodiment of the incarnation in our acceptance of the Other is exactly what God meant to teach us in his act of the word becoming flesh? yet this has habitually been an aversion to ‘us’ throughout our religious history.
what about you? what do you think?