Why an Incarnation?
Curated by Tony Jones
In the second conversation of our #progGOD series, we invited bloggers to consider: What does 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? Read their reflections and then add your own in the Comments Box below. (And stay tuned for future #progGOD conversations!)
I’m most interested in what the Incarnation tells us about God, human beings, creation, the Cosmos, the End Times, Heaven, Hell, salvation, or anything else…
When Job learned that his children had died, he wept. But God did not weep. Jesus wept.
As someone who is not only a progressive Christian, but also a New Testament scholar, the conversation for me must always begin with whether an incarnation before moving on to why.
The incarnation tells us that a woman's body is capable of holding, being, and bearing divinity.
Honestly, I think it is because we would not listen any other way.
What if the only relative understanding of divinity that we can have is “enfleshed”?
I find five main reasons for Jesus’ coming (versus a divine act from on high without physical presence)...
The point isn't that Jesus died for us. It's that he lived for us.
God participates with humanity – experiencing pain, suffering, anxiety, and the feeling of meaninglessness.
The end of my life may be a long way off, but today my life feels like a Bethlehem barn.
The incarnation is an expression of the divine solidarity with the human condition in all of its dimensions.
Within world of sight/salvation springs up, enfleshed: rough hands hewn,/broke bread and washed feet.
If Jesus is a God/man fusion, then his character and relationships illustrate how beautiful, inclusive, liberating, and empowering God’s salvation of humanity might be.
Jesus is black, Jesus is Salvadoran, Jesus is Israeli, Jesus is Palestinian, Jesus is the bullied gay teen, Jesus is the Syrian refugee, Jesus is the suffering and oppressed of our world.
The reason for Jesus is that before the stars were hung in place, before Adam sinned or Israel’s love failed God’s deepest desire is, was and always will be friendship. With us.
Not just to pop in for a quick, “Hello, I’m God, nice to meet you. You can see I’m real, so go tell everybody. K, bye.”
When it comes to understanding the importance of the Incarnation, Marshal Mcluhan is right: The medium is the message.
Michael J. Teston
The message of the incarnation is that being in the “flesh” is something good and holy. I need to be reminded of that.
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?
The concept of Immanuel is, I would argue, far more powerful than the concept of omnipotence.
The Incarnation showed us that God is self-sacrificing love and not an adolescent that throws tantrums.
What if God became man to show us the man could become God by embracing what humanity was created to be?
What if it wasn’t morality that Jesus came to model for us, but a life fully lived?
He came to say, ‘Pay attention to these noble beings – humanity. Look at these wonders. Celebrate their worth.’
As I become more aware and more conscious of "God with me" - Emmanuel - what I am discovering with new eyes, and re-newing eyes, is that God is with everybody else, too.
I caught my dog licking a wise man in our Nativity creche the other day, and when I bent down to resuscitate him it got me thinking of all I am missing.