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Why the Incarnation is So Important

I had another convergence experience this morning. It was the convergence of our text for this week, John 3:1-21, with Richard Rohr’s daily meditation, and the presentation I made to our 9th graders this past Sunday.

First, our text records the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus is “in the dark” and Jesus said that unless he is born again he cannot see or enter the Kingdom of God (see yesterday’s post).

Second, Richard Rohr wrote about the Incarnation today. He said,

Incarnation should be the primary and compelling message of Christianity. Through the Christ (en Christo), the seeming gap between God and everything else has been overcome “from the beginning” (Ephesians 1:4, 9). Incarnation refers to the synthesis of matter and spirit. Without some form of incarnation, God remains essentially separate from us and from all of creation. Without incarnation, it is not an enchanted universe, but somehow an empty one.

Third, on Sunday I walked our 9th grade confirmation students through a logical flowchart of how to construct a worldview that is based on the five basic human questions.

This is the flowchart.

One of the major challenges of our current place in history, and a source for much of our polarization, is the many dualisms that exist in the modern, Western psyche. Charles Taylor calls this the Secular Age. We imagine the world in binary systems of mind/spirit, subject/object, public private, fact/value, etc. (read about navigating dualisms here).

Here is my simple thought for today. Jesus is God in the flesh, the union of spirit and matter, divine and human, so that we can know that God is with and and for us. The incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus is not a unique event for one human being, but is the pattern of life for which we are created and through which we are continually invited. God is the Social, relational, entangled Trinity of Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer/Lover, Beloved, Love/Father, Son, Holy Spirit eternally continually bringing forth life from this dynamic relationship.

This relationship of self-giving love is the Kingdom of God and is the way of Jesus on Earth. That is why we cannot see it or enter it unless we are born again, born of water and spirit/breath. When we believe/trust that God is with us, for us, and continually inviting us to die to the ego and dualisms that seemingly separate us and step into the light of God’s all-exposing truth, then we will live in the reality that all things are interconnected and share in the incarnation of God.

These videos walk through these ideas…

 

 

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