And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
We understand that the spark of the divine that exists in every human being represents for many God’s presence. But the Incarnation extends God’s presence in multiple ways. The spark, the light that enlightens us, is often understood to exist below the multiple layers of a human being: beneath the physical, and beneath the mental conscious and subconscious, at the soul level. It is active in that it gives life, but otherwise it is a relatively passive presence until the human being has shed all ego-centered thoughts and behavior. The Incarnation means that God also has an active presence that can be seen and understood physically, that the divine can be understood consciously and observed in interaction with human beings. The Incarnation becomes a way, a model, an ideal, that reveals God to us. We see concrete results of physical action, we hear words with our sense of hearing, we can observe the body language in a person’s response, we can see the physical beauty of truth incarnated before our eyes. The disciples, through the person of Jesus, observed these physical properties of the Incarnation and they observed them after the Resurrection. The subsequent visions of Paul, John of Patmos, and the visions of many saints like Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Hildegard of Bingen, and Teresa of Avila, represent other experiences of the Incarnation.
The Incarnation opens up other possibilities for our own physical presence. We understand the possibility that God may become incarnate through our thoughts, our words, and our actions in the world. Our embodiment of the righteousness of God, our holiness, can bear witness to the many ways love is revealed to the world. When God’s law is embodied deep within us, our physical bodies become living vessels with the power to participate in the transformation of the world. As each entity—human and creature—move toward realization of God’s presence, the momentum behind the transformation of the world accelerates. We become part of the process of being made new.
God of angels and the Holy Spirit, impregnate us with truth and love. May your spirit activate us and help us hold the physical world up to you for transformation. May the patterns of the world that we have accumulated give way to new consciousness and awareness and reveal the ways the law has been embodied in us. May the Incarnation of the Christ become the way of our transformation, where life is protected, where life is precious because it bears the imprints of your love and truth. Amen.
From The Readings
2012-108 The human body is like an organ of perception. This principle organ extends out in every direction: from its core, which sometimes appears to be just the physical body. That is the illusion: that it is just the physical body. The consciousness becomes so single-minded, just to use a phrase, becomes so single-minded that the location of consciousness seems and feels connected to the mind and eyes and to the senses. But there are multiple senses, and a super-sensitive body. Some people would call the super-sensitive body the soul. And some say the soul is just the cloak or the essence, just like the body is a cloak covering the soul. But these expressions should be taken figuratively, not literally. The super-sensitive body feels emotions and sensations that are undifferentiated from the physical body. This is a mutual process. It might be compared to breathing, where there is the taking in and the expelling out. It is like the super-sensitive body is a sponge and all the moisture absorbed comes through the pores of the sponge. And when the sponge contracts, all the moisture is expelled through all of the pores.
2012-109 So we have emotions that are absorbed by the super-sensitive body and then it contracts and expels the emotions. This is just a graphic way to describe the process of feeling. The value that is placed on emotions—and by this we mean good or bad, higher value, lesser value, hurtful and painful or pleasurable—these distinctions are descriptions or categories imposed by the false self or the ego. The fear or anxiety color the feelings. Otherwise the emotions and feelings would be like pleasure or sensation, but activated, by the ability of the super-sensitive body to sense and know the world. The ego wants to control the super- sensitive body by valuing the sensations. This is why temperature, for instance, can feel like a pleasurable or painful sensation at almost any temperature relative to the body. Otherwise, coolness or heat are simply sensations that pass through the super-sensitive body and the physical body.
2012-112 And that is why through my incarnation, the body is such a powerful and strong symbol to those who suffer. They can bring themselves into the passion of Christ, to the nearness of God, and though there be pain and tears, many will find at the same time the presence of joy and contentment. Do not fear following my path. And do not fear the realization of God in the flesh. These are elements of God’s presence in every place and time, in every location, in eternity and in the eternal present. There are many who start out on my path. There are many who taste the wine of early experience and believe that they have found the source of all that can be life-giving and transforming. But the path is much longer and much more expansive, and for each person it is a narrow path because the path is so closely aligned with purpose. And straying from this purpose can be experienced in the moment or across a lifetime of experience.