Beliefnet
Jesus Creed

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The Word who is Life, the Word who is Light, has become “flesh.”

The Christmas message, embodied in one word, is that the Word becomes Flesh. Real, breathing, skin-covered humanity as the Act of Redemption begins to unroll before our eyes.

One word: Incarnation. God becomes human and, to quote Eugene Peterson, “moves into the neighborhood.” God becomes what we are — humans — so that we might become what he is.

Here is absolute identity: God has become what we are. (God does not “appear” to be human or “get transfigured into the physical” — both of these deny absolute identity with humannness.”)

Here is absolute transformation: God becomes what we are, not to show that it can be done, but to take up our case, our being, our “cracked Eikon-ness.” Here the Crackedness begins to back up, to roll back its curse and its pain and its sin.

Here is absolute promise: God becomes what we are as a gift so that we, by taking in this Word-now-flesh (think eucharist as well) might become what God wants us to be: God’s children.

Flesh matters. God doesn’t redeem only our spirits or our souls or our minds. He becomes fully what we are: flesh-and-blood humans. So that all of our human condition might be redeemed.

Becoming Flesh is the Point of New Creation. The New Creation is the Incarnation, and all those who are in the Incarnate One are in the New Creation.

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