Do you know what the word ‘incarnation’ means? No? Then let me explain.
Start with the thought of people who are far away from you. Maybe you have friends who live at a distance, or family in a different country, and you miss them very much (especially at Christmas). But, actually, feeling far away from others isn’t always about miles or kilometres is it? Maybe right now there are people who are very near to you physically – in the same house even – but your relationship with them isn’t working properly; a rift has opened up. So though you are not far from each other in one way, there is a very real ‘distance’ between you. Maybe you even wish there was a way to fix the problem, bridge the gap.
Sadly, such troubles are all too common. Many of us live with them. But why? Why do we get some relationships so wrong? After the long history of the human race, and all the things we’ve been through together, how have we so failed to learn to get along with one another?
Jesus taught that these issues come from a deeper problem within us. You see, we have all broken away from God, our creator. Though he’s the father of the human race, we have turned away from him, opening up a vast distance between us and him. We do not know God, leaving us with all kinds of confusing and bizarre stories about him. In fact some of us simply assume that he’s not there at all. And that break in what should be the key relationship of our life, has led to disruption and damage across all of life.
But God has bridged the gap we made. Incarnation is about God coming to us. Not in dreams, feelings, or messages in the sky. But rather, God crossing the vast distance between us and him, in person. God coming down to our level by becoming like us. That’s incarnation. The word means God becoming human. When did that happen? At the first Christmas. How did it happen? In Jesus Christ.
We have done all kinds of harm to one another. But the worst relationship abuse of all has been our treatment of God. Yet, he came to us to sort it out: to open up a way of forgiveness for you and me, a route back into a loving family life with our creator. We find this as we get to know Jesus Christ through the true story of his life, death and resurrection, in the Bible. In Jesus, God has bridged the gap we wickedly caused between us and him. And when we receive that undeserved mercy from God, other parts of life can change too. Jesus – God with us – is able to rebuild our lives for good in every way.
Every Christmas Christians celebrate the incarnation: God becoming human in Jesus Christ. Come and find out more.
These words come from the “Contact” leaflet we distributed in the Christmas of 2017. To see the whole leaflet, please click here: Contact – Christmas 2017 (PDF)
We also have eight Christmas readings available by clicking here.
And our Christmas services may be found on this page.