Thursday, January 4, 2018

Union with God: The Incarnation and Its Consequences

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 
The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 
That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete." (1 John 1:1-4)

As we approach the end of this Christmas season, I keep returning to the doctrine of the incarnation. St. John writes in the opening verses of his gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." The Word, the second person of the Trinity, broke through to our timeline and dwelt in a virgin's womb for nine months. By her, he became a man, and his name is Jeshua, Jesus, which means “Salvation.” As a human child, he grew. He fed from his mother’s milk, just like us. He first crawled then learned to walk, just like us. He fell and bruised his knees, just like us. He even lived through puberty, just like us. He grew in wisdom and knowledge, just like us. He was like us in every way save one – he knew no sin. He entered into his creation that he might redeem and renew it. This is the Doctrine of the Incarnation: God became man so that we might become one with him through his body. Jesus is 100% human while maintaining full 100% divinity. If the math sounds wrong it's because this is a mystery, something we will never be able to fully grasp. The Apostle Paul calls it "the mystery of godliness" (1 Tim. 3:16).