By Ernest O'Neill

What is the Incarnation?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Yet that's what the incarnation is. It's God saying, "I am going to end all your philosophizing, all that you're guessing, all your surmising and I am going to come here to earth incarnate", in Latin "In the flesh", incarnate. "I am going to come incarnate to your earth so that you will have no doubt any longer what I am really like", and that's what the incarnation is, loved ones. It's at least that.

It's a clear demonstration to each one of us of what reality is and what God is like. That, at least, the incarnation does for us. It brushes away all the guessing, all the philosophizing, all the generalizing, all the mysticism -- and it shows us exactly what God is like, but it is something more than that. It shows us what God is like if he ever became incarnate in you. It shows us what God is like if he ever was able to come and live in your life. It shows the kind of life that he would live.

Obviously, if God were to become incarnate in you and me, these are the things that he would be concerned about, aren't they? You know it. You know it speaks so forcefully, doesn't it, that you know so well it's not me trying to put over a line to you because his whole life was standing behind this and it's very obvious.

He did not have a nice house, he was not married, he did not get all wrapped up in his children and his wife. He did not get all wrapped up with getting an elite professional situation. He did not get all concerned about the latest camel and the latest cart. It's very obvious, and of course our God is saying to us this morning, "My loved ones, you know, you know what I am like because you can look at my son Jesus and you can see the kind of life I lived in him. Now don't tell me that you didn't know. You know the kind of life I lived in him and you know he wasn't a wild fanatic and he wasn't a strange person and you know how much you admired him and you know how much you encouraged other people to follow him. Now if I become incarnate in you, isn't it likely that I would live that kind of life too?"

Maybe that's the biggest thing the incarnation does for us, isn't it? It's God saying, "Stop all the talk. Stop lording it over one another with your knowledge that you have got from Zen Buddhism or your knowledge that you have got from Christian mysticism or your knowledge that you have got from the charismatic movement. Stop all that lording it over each other with your knowledge and what you understand about God.  Be.  Be. That's why I came to earth."