Reflections on the Trinity – On the Incarnation


You counted it nothing to abandon your place in Heaven, O Word, to take on our flesh, on our behalf, to rescue us from ourselves. How could we ever dream of such a God who would love us enough to die for us? But you did more; you lived as us so as to redeem us.

In the beginning you created us and we rebelled against you. As you walked in the garden shortly after our rebellion you asked where we were, but you knew. Nothing is hidden from you Lord. You knew what had occurred and what we had done, but in your question you shamed us. You made us contemplate on the sickness that we had just done.

You were not without love or compassion. Rather than eradicating us, you lovingly fashioned animal skins to cover our nudity. My Lord, you did this as a foreshadow of your own death on our behalf! Just as Adam and Eve had become ashamed of their nudity in the Garden and needed to be covered, so too did we become ashamed of our nudity before your Law. But just as you did with Adam and Eve, rather than letting us lay there in despair, you fashioned yourself as a skin to cover our iniquity so that we might not be ashamed. How can my sinful mind ever hope to understand your love, O Lord?

You came into the world as we do, only without human father. It was the blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, who you chose as the worthy vessel to carry you. We ask that you send your Spirit to us to aid us in following her example, for at hearing that she was to be blessed with you in her womb she humbly and joyfully submitted. May we too react in the same way when invited to hold you within ourselves! It is in Mary that we find the eternal mystery of how the infinite was contained to her womb, but this foreshadowed the mystery of how your would Spirit would be contained within us.

What was it like to take on our flesh? What was it like to see your creation through corporeal sight? I am ever humbled by the thought that you partook in our nature so that you could save us.

What heartache you must have endured O Lord. To have the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed, and the broken brought to you. You saw what your creation had fallen to and what they had become. You witnessed the pain we had brought on ourselves, a pain you never intended.

But in an act of supreme love you took on the cross! You were condemned though innocent and crucified between those who were guilty. You were silent at your trial, enduring shame for this silence, shame that was due to us. The shame you felt in the flogging was shame due to us. The shame you felt while you lay naked upon the cross, spit upon by your creation, mocked by those you breathed life into, you felt the shame that we should have felt.

What a mind boggling act you accomplished! You created the ones who mocked you. You foreknew their existence and formed them in the womb, knowing the tiny hands of the child would one day nail you to the cross, knowing their tiny and speechless mouths would one day hurl curses at you. To know that you formed the hands that nailed you to the cross, the mouths that cursed you, and the lives that held you there is beyond me. You created all matter in the universe, so what a supreme act of irony that the immutable, immaterial, all-powerful, all-knowing Lord was hung upon the material cross! The very matter you created is what you died by.

But in all of this you did it so you could redeem humanity! You took on our nature so that perfection could be found within our nature. You suffered in our nature so that you could eradicate suffering. How morbid that you took on the form of man so that you might be killed by man, all so that you might save man. Is there a greater act of love?

You did not remain in the grave, but instead rose after three days. You did not rise spiritually, nor was your act a cheap trick. You physically rose from the dead and were glorified as we will be raised and glorified! In this action you defeated death, you defeated the curse, and you defeated sin. What power does any of it hold over humanity now that the God-man has overcome it?

Death, that horrible enemy, found its birth in paradise and consumed man, but it was wounded upon the cross and slain by your resurrection! You took on our nature so that we can share in yours, you did not leave us as sinners lost in our own evil, but rescued us and lifted us up to you.

Your resurrection has made us whole! Your resurrection is the hope of the world! O beautiful Christ how I worship you! You have proven that you are not a way, but the way. You do not point to a higher path of enlightenment, you are the path! You do not point to a way higher than yourself, but rather to yourself because you are the way. We walk in you, we reside in you, and in doing so we have hope because of your resurrection.

It is you who guides the blind to see the beautiful artistry of your grace! It is you who calls to the deaf to hear the wondrous song of their salvation! It is you who lifts up the cripple man to dance with you in this soiled world! It is you who gives the poor man his riches and the homeless man his mansion! It is in you that the orphan finds a home, where the widow finds a husband, and where the hopeless find hope! It is you who takes the hungry and feeds them the truth of your word! It is in you that the diseased find a cure in the hope of a new body, free from the curse of sin! It is in you that the dying laugh at death and embrace you, knowing you have defeated that bitter foe! It is in you that the sinner finds redemption, that the filthy are made clean, and that the lost are found! When you call me home may you send your Spirit to lift me up to you so that I might collapse in your arms and find my hope is fulfilled!

All of this is possible because you took on our nature. You did this so that we may not suffer. You did this so that we may not endure eternal torment. You did this so that we may be made whole. You did this so that we might be one with you. You did this so that our sins might be forgiven. You did this because you are love. You did this because you are glorious!

How may I ever understand the salvation you brought to me in the Incarnation? Even this most blatant display of love escapes my finite grasp. That I might call you my Lord is a mystery beyond all comprehension. But it is in this that I take solace and simply call you Lord though I know not why I should be able to.

You have had mercy upon me, O Lord, and have made this sinner pure.

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This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.

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