Day Twenty-Six: The Gift of Incarnation
December 26, 2019
By Keith Reynolds
By Keith Reynolds
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was with God in the beginning.3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-14 (NIV)
The One who created the world chose to live and dwell within it. He arrived as we all do, in a messy human birth, under trying circumstances, and under the care of uniquely chosen parents. Blinking into his new view of the world, wide-eyed, nestled close to his mother, God’s communication to us began his days. The Word took a small, gentle breath. The world did not recognize him.
Lifting a curtain, God revealed himself. Nothing was invisible anymore. We should watch in awe, like John, be a transfixed witness to this light. God was in the world. He gave himself to us as a gift and ultimately a sacrifice, but always an offering of love. God made it clear – God is love – here is my Son, sent for you. And, he wants to be known. To feel and be felt. To touch and to be touched.
The gift for us at Christmas? Incarnation. From swaddling clothes, to sandals and robes, to burial cloths, the One who will share our hunger, thirst, weariness, frustration, joy, laughter, friendship, and ultimately, agony, will become our shepherd, our rescuer, and today, our advocate. Throughout his journey, Jesus modeled God’s profound grace and thoughtful truth. Listen.
Jesus came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Not grace or truth. Through his grace we find the essential forgiveness we sinners forever need. His truth is in word and deed. Watch it unwind perfectly in a life of obedience rooted in his absolute clarity that he was sent “to do the will of Him who sent me.”
We recognize him. We have seen his glory. To our eternal joy, in a brief earthly life, we touch and are touched by the Word who followed His path and showed us ours.