We have a hard time with the concept of Incarnation it seems. How can Jesus be God and Man? Over the years, Christian theologians have debated this question long and hard. To explain it the Virgin Birth was necessary. But that wasn’t enough. The tenet of the Immaculate Conception of Mary had to also be developed. Even non-Catholics have a hard time with this. My seminary doctrine book devoted 340 pages to the concept of how and when Jesus was/is God Incarnate.
Part of it, I think, is that we use the same root word for Incarnation that we use in the phrase Carnal Knowledge. To be in carne is to be in the flesh and that, we are taught, is a sinful thing in and of itself.
Once we stop thinking of physicality as evil, the concept becomes quite beautiful. Incarnation simply means that the spiritual convictions are put into physical action. Jesus spoke and acted out the spiritual concept of divine love. He didn’t have to be possessed or be born in an abnormal way. He simply understood divine love in a profound way and lived his live according to it.
The bad news is that it takes away my excuses. When you are the fourth of seven children, obviously you were not born of a virgin. But that doesn’t mean I cannot be Christ-like, that I cannot be an incarnation of divine love. As I understand how deep the love of God is, I can live it out by loving others as I love myself and loving myself as God loves me.
No more excuses. It is time to put some flesh and bones on that idea.