Incarnation: Presidents and Kings

The word “incarnation” isn't one we see or hear very often.  But it's more familiar than you might think.  In the middle is its root, carne.  It means "flesh."  So “incarnation” means “in the flesh.”  The mystery of the incarnation is that Jesus was both fully God and fully human, in the flesh.

Jesus is the fulfillment of what Dr. Bo Helmich talked about last week, the prophecies Israel had waited to have fulfilled: God would one day bring the messiah to relieve Israel from her oppressors.

In Luke 1:30-33, Luke writes of Jesus as this messiah, and in particular that the messiah would be a new king.  Or, more accurately, a new kind of king, whose kingdom will never end.  An essential focus of Jesus’ teaching was the coming of the “Kingdom of God.”  It was enacted and also fulfilled by Jesus.

Some of our beloved Christmas carols have been proclaiming this for years:
- What Child is This?  "This this is Christ the King...the babe, the son of Mary"
- Joy to the World   "Let Earth receive her King"

Since the latest US presidential election, we’ve seen a sobering revelation amongst US citizens of their deep divisiveness.  And we have also seen this amongst Christians as well.  How ironic, then, that four weeks after election day, we began the season of Advent, where we all anticipate the arrival of our King -- one King of the world.

Advent puts into perspective all of our political dialogue.  If we follow King Jesus, we are to give  him our allegiance above all else.  Advent has the power to unite us.  But it requires a response from you and me.  Jesus has come, not to merely be our friend, counselor, or even teacher.  He has come to be King. And we get to choose whether or not we want to be part of his reign.

Can we all agree that our human leaders are fallible?  They’re not even close to being able to accomplish what Jesus accomplished in his lifetime, and certainly through the Holy Spirit beyond his incarnate lifetime.  Our earthly rulers may be called and capable, but they are only human.  Jesus was human and divine, and the incarnate Son of God is able to rule the heavens and earth.

Billions of dollars were spent on this last "election season."  But Jesus comes to us in a barn.  And he offers himself entirely to you and me, as an invitation to become part of what God is doing in this broken world, and to be transformed day by day into his likeness by being reborn into eternal life, according to God’s love.

May we find that we are brought together with all our differences and hopes, back to the feet of Jesus to be participants in his good reign.

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