An exhortation on the incarnation.
by Subdeacon Mathew
The incarnation: what’s the big deal?
The incarnation changed everything.
Christ became man so that man could become like Christ, like God.
All matter is God created.
After the incarnation, all matter is sanctified even made sacred. Why?
Because with Christ in us, and we are sanctified and made sacred.
So is everything that we touch, make, wear.
“Let us commend ourselves and all of of lives to Christ our God.” Is our continual prayer every liturgy.
Christ is everywhere present and fills all things, the scripture tells us.
All things are His.
All things are sanctified.
Your bank account is His. It is sacred….unto God.
Your investment account is all His.
That extra $5 in your pocket, all His.
All of it. Everything.
We are sacred. We are his image.
The rich, the poor, the orphan, the widow.
The Mormon, the Jehovah’s witness, the Muslim, the liberal, the conservative, the capitalist, the socialist, the Hindu, the atheist. All of them. All of us. All His. All in His likeness and image.
He becomes incarnate for all of them.
He bows down.
He lowers Himself
He degrades Himself.
He yields, deigns, submits, Himself….to whom? To us. To you. To all.
It means that we matter.
It means that all mankind matters.
It means that Matter Matters.
God, who became man, has a face, He can be depicted.
It means that we saw God, we walked with God in the flesh, nursed Him as a babe, kissed Him, suffered with Him, hugged Him, ate with Him, celebrated with Him, drank wine with Him, cried with Him, watched Him bleed, buried Him.
You say, how did I do this? I never did this, others long ago did this, but not me.
I exhort you brothers and sisters: We, you, did this. You and I.
This was not just some historic event that included some small group of middle eastern people 2000 years ago. If that was all it was, we Christians are to be the most pitied, St. Paul tells us.
This is not just a story.
This is not just history, joint a point and event in time and space.
No, it was for all time.
Christ IS born. That is why we glorify Him.
Christ IS risen. That is why we worship Him.
It was and IS for all people, for all creation, for all time.
His coming in the flesh is eternal, everlasting, enduring, completely fulfilling.
Man can be truly human now.
Mankind is healed.
Death is overthrown.
Communion, full communion with God Himself, is made possible.
The virgin says YES and God becomes incarnate within her and through a miracle of God, Mary, a virgin, gives birth to God the Word. Amazing.
We say YES and it gives birth to everlasting life.
He appeared and continues to appear to all of us.
How does He appear?
Through whom does He appear?
By what means does he appear?
Through The Poor, our Words of blessing, the Gospel, Preaching, Miracles, Life itself, Nature, liturgy, prayers, worship, Iconography, suffering, death, smiles, love, all of it.
What’s the big deal Brothers and Sisters?
The big deal is that The incarnation changed everything. Forever and there is no turning back.
There is no sitting on the sidelines
There is no idle watching, and waiting
We must be upright
We must be courageous.
We must be willing to leave this little huddle, this safe place, and go forth with this Gospel.
The incarnation changes everything.
All things are new.
All things are blessed.
All creation cries out (even the rocks will cry out)
Nature obeys Him
The angels sing
The wise men come and worship
Even the demons know.
No one and nothing can deny His incarnation and His deity.
A deity we can possess.
A deity we can embrace.
A deity we can share.
A deity we can consume and which consumes us.
A deity that can shine forth and pour from our faces, our countenance, our hands, our feet.
A deity undeniable but still men doubt.
Unfathomable yet we see Him and touch Him
unbelievable, but we have faith
incredible, but real.
unimaginable, but standing before us risen from the dead.
This Christ. This incarnate one of God. This one of the Holy Trinity.
This One is Whose likeness we bear.
This one whose name, who mark, who cross, we bare.
Christ Himself, our King and our God
This is Christ our God and we know none other than Him as Lord and Savior.
Glory be to God.