in• car• na• tion

mjkimpan  —  October 9, 2012 — 23 Comments

in• car• na• tion :: the movement from word to flesh

‘In the beginning was the Word (logos), and the logos was with God, and the logos was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it… The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world…

And the logos became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth… From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.’
–john 1:1-5, 9, 14, 16-18

we call this movement – from the divine toward humanity; from the holy toward the common; from the pure to the unclean – from word to flesh the incarnation.

in• car• na• tion

as was pointed out in brian mclaren’s recent book, at the root of this theologically pregnant word is the latin word, carne :: meaning ‘flesh’ or ‘meat.’

quite literally, the flesh that covers the bones.

the incarnation shows us what God is like with skin on.

in the words of eugene peterson, it’s as if the Divine put on flesh and blood and ‘moved into the neighborhood.‘ in the words of the apostle paul to the church in colosse, it’s as if the Divine – who previously was invisible – became visible in the person of jesus. he is the most clear picture of God – his way, his truth and his life – that we have.

we no longer have just the skeleton of the written word. we’re no longer held captive to the shackles of the structure of the Law. God is revealed no longer through just words on a page (or papyrus) || the word became flesh and took action.

so the question is,

what would it look like if we followed God’s lead?
what bright future could we envision for our world if we mirrored the incarnation in our everyday lives? what would it look like if we followed christ into the fringes of society, aligning ourselves in solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized? what if we shared the good news that God is on their side, and not just ‘ours’?
what if we lived incarnationally?