While other Christ-followers are fretting over the substitution of the word "holiday" for "Christmas," I'm keeping busy trying to substitute "incarnation" for "Christmas" in my correspondence and everyday conversation; although, as in the phrase, 'Have yourself a very merry incarnation;' it doesn't always fit. It's not that I'm trying to sound more theologically sophisticated around other believers, but I'm hoping that it will simply become a habit as I engage people who are on the margins of faith, so that I can then explain what it means for God to enter into the human condition and be both 100% man and 100% divine at the same time.
But really, God has been "breaking in" for quite some time now:
- Evening walkabouts with Adam and Eve at Eden. There's something in their pre-fallen state -- and something about that location -- that helps facilitate these visits, which so sadly, last only a short time.
- The original "summit meeting" with Moses. Hey, I guess that's where we get that term. Contact with God's "brightness" leaves Moses severely tanned.
- The Old Testament "Christophanies." Not everyone agrees on this, but many believe that when the Bible says, "An angel of the Lord appeared..." that it was actually the pre-incarnate Christ who showed up.
- Relaying messages through the prophets. Think of the prophets as forwarding e-mails from God. "This just in..."
- Then the incarnation. God the Son enters into the human state of his creation; going "the whole nine yards," so to speak, from conception to birth to childhood, to working a trade, to temptation, to a wedding celebration, to hunger, to paying taxes, to weeping for a friend, to betrayal, to false accusation, to death.
- The filling. No, not a pie filling. Just as Jesus was 100% human yet was 100% divine, he leaves his followers with a teeny, tiny taste of what that might have been like by placing his Spirit in each of us. Enough of Himself to empower and strengthen us in difficult challenges, and give us the right words to say in all kinds of situations. But not, of course, the 100% that Christ experienced; such that sometimes I forget that His power is there waiting to be recognized, waiting to be called on; forgetting that "He lives within my heart."
- One more thing; a short, quick, special intervention with a guy named Saul. He finds out why Moses got so tanned. Moses was on God's side. Saul -- at the time -- was fighting against God with all he had. Moral of the story for people like that: Don't look directly at the light. Not right away. Or something like that. Fortunately for most of us, the song Amazing Grace doesn't go, "Could see, but now I'm blind."
That being the case, I'm looking forward to those evening walkabouts.