Tag: Incarnation (home)

THE MAN AND THE BIRDS Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas Story of the Man and the Birds. You know, THE Christmas Story, the God born a man in a manger and all that escapes some moderns, mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced I submit a modern parable. Now the man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man. "I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite. That he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service. Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, the scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn. And then, he realized, that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. "If only I could be a bird," he thought to himself, "and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm ... ... ... to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand." At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells - Adeste Fidelis - listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

permalink source: Paul Harvey
tags: Christmas, Incarnation

He became what we are that he might make us what he is. I've also heard it put as: God became man that man might become God.

permalink source: Athanasius
tags: Salvation, Discipleship, Incarnation

"When Ted Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves years ago, he brought in a young man named Terry McGuirk to oversee the Braves organization. Terry is a friend of mine, and a part of the Peachtree family. But before Terry took over responsibility for all the people in the Braves organization, he wanted to know what it was like to be at the bottom, to be an ordinary player on the field. "So that year Terry McGuirk appeared at spring training disguised as a rookie trying out for a position in left field on the team. Terry was a superb athlete who had played baseball in college. He was about 25 years old, and he experienced firsthand all the things you go through as a nobody rookie walk-on: sore muscles, getting yelled at by the coaches, suffering countless humiliations in the attempt to make the team. After that experience, Terry became the head of the Braves organization. One of the reasons the Braves have been so successful is that the leader at the top knows how it feels to start at the very bottom. "At Christmas, the God who is up there came to join us down here. He played on our field, He perspired under our sun, and He even learned how it feels to strike out."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Christmas, Incarnation

The Word became flesh -- and then through theologians it became words again.

permalink source: Karl Barth
tags: Jesus, Theology, Incarnation