Today is a wonderful day in two ways. First and foremost, I am currently at the hospital awaiting the arrival of our third little boy, Owen Kristopher Hutto. Lord willing, I will have exciting news and pictures to share with you tomorrow as we introduce our newest addition to the world. Until then I am thrilled to introduce you once again to my friend Melissa Deming from Hive Resources who has graciously offered to share the last installment of a series she has been writing on the incarnation with Desiring Virtue’s readers. As we draw ever nearer to Christmas day, I pray that the thoughtful and beautiful truths shared in this post will resound in our hearts as we celebrate the remarkable work of God becoming man! -Jessalyn
This post is the third in a three-part series at Hive Resources on the Incarnation and what it proves to the world about God’s love. Visit Hive Resources for a special Flash Freebie from the series!
I think Alexander Pope got it wrong.
To err is not human–at least not based on the Divine Playwright’s original script.
The meaning of humanity is never more reticent than at Christmas, when we focus on the one Person who took on flesh and demonstrated what true humanity looks like.
The incarnation shows us:
- Evidence of God’s good character. (The Incarnation speaks to who God is).
- Evidence of God’s role as Creator & Re-Creator! (The Incarnation speaks to what God does).
- And finally, evidence of God’s purpose in your life. (The incarnation speaks to why God does what he does).
The Christmas story, then, is about more than a miraculous birth and a back-stage pass into heaven. It’s the story of a Good God who created a good world that became corrupted by sin. It’s the story of a Good God who is at work in his creation to restore it back to its original state.
The Christmas story is about what you’re doing here on earth and how God is at work in your life for his glory.
So, how does the incarnation prove that God is at work in our lives?
The incarnation helps us to be human.
God created you to know him and reflect him to a watching world, but sin makes that purpose impossible.
The 4th century bishop Athanasius of Alexandria called it the “dehumanizing of mankind” – the distortion of the image of God within us.
I guess you could say sin keeps us from being fully human – as God designed.
We see this original design for humanity in the life of the Word Incarnate.
- When the Word became flesh, we saw a servant bent on God’s glory.
- When the Word became flesh, we saw the fruits of the Spirit in their fullest form.
- When the Word became flesh, we saw true knowledge and communion with the Father and the Spirit.
This is the kind of life God intended for Adam and Eve–and for you and me–before sin corrupted all that was good.
This is what it means to ‘be human’–to know God and reflect him (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10).
Listen to how Athanasius describes the Son’s role in the renewal of our purpose in his book, On the Incarnation:
What else could He possibly do, being God, but renew His Image in mankind, so that through it men might once more come to know Him? And how could this be done save by the coming of the very Image Himself, our Saviour Jesus Christ? Men could not have done it, for they are only made after the Image; nor could angels have done it, for they are not the images of God. The Word of God came in His own Person, because it was He alone, the Image of the Father, Who could recreate man made after the Image. In order to effect this re-creation, however, He had first to do away with death and corruption. Therefore He assumed a human body, in order that in it death might once for all be destroyed, and that men might be renewed according to the Image. The Image of the Father only was sufficient for this need (emphasis mine).
The Incarnation is proof of God’s love. In it the Agent of our Creation became the Agent of our Salvation.
So, this Christmas, you may well marvel at the miracle of the virgin birth. You may rejoice that your sins have been forgiven! But don’t forget to praise the Living Word who continues to work in your life – working to restore your humanity by restoring his perfect image within you.
God is at work in your life so you can know him and reflect him. God loves you. The Incarnation is proof of that.
Would you like to win a copy of Athanasius’ On the Incarnation? Jump over to Hive Resources to enter! You only have till midnight tonight!
Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources. She’s a freelance journalist and creative writer. Her ideal day includes stalking Half Price Books, mining the Scriptures for treasure, and consuming unhealthy amounts of coffee – three hobbies that make it possible for her to share some sweet resources for you to grow in biblical wisdom and truth.