'Incarnation is the revealing of true purpose, a divine intelligence at work in the human condition’
The season of advent is the beginning of the annual christian calendar, the genesis of the divine-human narrative of recalibration as seen in the life of Jesus.
Everything about the story confounds our sensibilities, angels, divine conception and an unsuspecting virgin teenager are just a few of the big challenges to our rational minds, that invite us into the mystery of how the divine finds residence in the human condition.
Incarnation as the embodiment of a deity is the BIG idea behind this advent appearance, exposing us to the salvific intention of the divine agenda.
We do not need to be saved from an angry God who seems to be offended by our SINFULNESS but conversely, saved from our ignorance of the true nature of our own divinity. The Jesus story asks us to consider our true nature, take responsibility for our actions and own the purpose for which we were created.
Incarnation as an invitation is the opportunity to rediscover true purpose, to be healed from our internal bifurcations and embrace the divine nature that is seeking to enflesh in our lives.
Jesus is the revealing of God who anthropomorphises in order to remind us that the divine presence as it pertains to that which resides within our personhood is a journey of discovery and self-awareness.
The mysterious and somewhat unbelievable proposal of a holy conception goes to the idea that we need some kind of dramatic effect in order to reconstitute our imagination and ignite interest in what it means to be seen as a worthy participant in this holy drama.
‘The glory of God is man fully alive’ - St Irenaeus of Lyons
My purpose is to live fully alive, to welcome all that comes to me, to listen to the hum of reverence that resides within and allow it to rhythm my existence. Purpose is my reason for being, the underlying motivation for why my life has something significant to contribute to the greater good.
Jesus is my super-hero, not just because he did amazing miracles or waxed lyrical with profound wisdom, but because he offered to vicariously enter into my human experience, not to rescue me from an after-life punishment but to remind me of the this-life purpose that is wanting to unfold in me.
Incarnation is an everyday awakening and evolving that prepares me for the death and resurrection that will eventually come my way, the journey of mortality that moves me towards my immortal eternity.
The story of Jesus starts in human form and ends in human form, a reminder that we are divine beings who have underestimated our worth and value, and that maybe it is time to see ourselves differently. The role of religion has always been to remind us of this reality and yet unfortunately it has become an institutional monster of doctrinal definition that often excludes and divides rather than include and embrace.
The incarnation of Jesus was Gods way of retelling the story of original intent, our lives as 'imago dei’ and the ongoing work of divinisation (deification), the transforming effect of divine grace.
In this season of advent let's re-read the script, and hopefully re-discover our sense of true purpose.