The Incarnation

Merry Christmas!

I’ve been enjoying the company of my family after the flurry of finals and term papers. I am now halfway through my Masters of Divinity program. It is surreal to think that I’ve been in Wisconsin now for the last year and a half. I know that the next year and a half will fly by, and believe me when I say that I will enjoy it thoroughly!

I have been working on maintaining my Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification over the last two weeks while my parents have been at work. It’s been a joy to engage a very different kind of material than that of seminary and to remember some crazy things that I’ve seen. I’ve been getting refreshed on vital signs and various EMT protocols while going through the online classes. I got to thinking about the incarnation while coming across terms like cardiovascular-system, perfusion, and fontanels. Those things made me think about the incarnation because of the physical aspect of humanity and because it is the season in which we remember that Jesus took on those things.

The Angelus is a prayer that teaches about the incarnation. I thought it would be beneficial to elaborate a little bit on the prayer, looking at the holiday in light of the method of prayer in order to teach about an essential part of our doctrine. The Angelus teaches us about the incarnation of Jesus, how the Word became flesh, and how the Lord used Mary as an instrument to bring forth the Son of God.

The angel of the Lord declared unto marry,

And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary full of grace, blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

We remember the narrative in the gospel according to Luke in the first section. The Lord chose Mary as the vessel to outfit the Word in the likeness of sinful flesh. This is the moment of grace that the divine penetrated the physical realm in order that all people might have salvation. As believers we then keep our own mortality before us so that we might recognize the need for divine help.

Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord,

Be it done unto me according to thy will.

Hail Mary full of grace, blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

The gospel account tells us that the Lord has found favor in Mary. The saying troubles Mary, showing humility. We are to emulate her response to the Lord as he calls us to his service, no matter the cost. We remember again the fruit of the womb of Mary, God’s chosen instrument to purify a broken world.

The Word became flesh

And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary full of grace, blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

The moment has arrived that we remember that God has sent his only begotten son to add the humanity of flesh onto his divinity of God in order that he might die as propitiation. We find through church history an emphasis on the aspect of the addition of the incarnation rather than putting aside the divinity in order to take on the humanity. The emphasis guards us from heresy as we maintain both the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ for the purpose of the work on the cross.

Christmas is about the incarnation of Jesus. We as Christians remember both the spiritual and physical aspect of life. We can take joy in this beautiful and broken world because there is so much to be amazed at, like how the parasympathetic muscles work at digesting food and making us sleepy after a large holiday meal.

We also remember how he held together the tangible world along with the spiritual and we are to hold both together as well. Likewise, we are to imitate Mary by approaching life in all humility.

Pour forth; we beseech thee, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ was made known to us by the message of an angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ, our lord. Amen

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