Monday, December 7, 2009

Incarnation, One Grand Miracle

"The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space & time, what is uncreated, eternal came into nature, decended into its own universe...  bringing nature up with him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away, there is nothing specifically Christian left."  --The Grand Miracle by C.S. Lewis

God became human. Seldom do we stop to consider the meaning of this notion, that the infinite Creator came down. C.S. Lewis held the Incarnation in such high esteem that he called it and his book by the same title, The Grand Incarnation. Lewis' tale, is a devotion directed to the Christ, the anointed one, who is God become man. He, the God, Immanuel, God is with us, gives eternal life; we are energized through this contact with the One, the Creator, who makes in us a new creation, a central theme for Lewis.

C.S. Lewis, it is said, loved the story of the birth of the Christ. He argues in his (fictional) account, The Grand Miracle, that the miracle is not the crucifixion, nor the resurrection, while dramatic and awe-inspiring as they are, Lewis instead regards the simple, humble birth of the One Lord, the Christ child, to be the first event in the preparation for the coming Incarnation. Christians believe that the Christ is near, that through God, his father, he is with us; the Holy Spirit pours out over the fruits of Creation. Yet God remains hidden in these miracles.

The Christian is reminded often that the Gospel stories tell of an arc in the life of Jesus; that his story begins with incarnation and ends with a physical death. This is a powerful message to believers who grow in devotion to the One, who through the Spirit, the news of salvation, and God's grace presents to one and all. His love, the gospel teaches, is greater than any other thing; it is greater than death itself. Thus, from the earliest maturity, Christians are called into relationship with the Beloved, their Lord. Through spiritual practices, devotions, rituals, signs, Christians are evermore taken up into embrace, into union with the Beloved, the One who calls them home.

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