Christmas: The Meaning of Incarnation

The human journey is not about becoming spiritual beings nearly as much as becoming fully human beings, which is actually much harder. We are already spiritual beings from the moment of our conception; we just don’t know it yet. The Bible tries to let you in on the secret, by revealing God in the ordinary. That’s why so much of the text seems so mundane, practical, specific and, frankly, unspiritual! (Most Catholics stopped reading the Bible for this very reason, and many New Agers do the same.)

We have created a terrible kind of dualism between the spiritual and the so-called non-spiritual. The principle of Incarnation proclaims that matter and spirit, sacred and secular have never been separate. Jesus came to tell us that these two seemingly different worlds are and always have been one. We just couldn’t see it until God put them together in one body that we call Jesus (see Ephesians 2:11-20). And YOU are also that Body! Now you are ready to face a new year with confidence and joy.

Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture As Spirituality


  1. Joe:

    As I know that you are already well aware, the topic of becoming fully human “in Jesus” and of our learning to live in both the spatial and spiritual realms are major themes in N.T. Wright’s After You Believe.

    We again give testimony that much of the best contemporary Christian thought comes from Roman Catholic (Gary Wills and James Caroll also come to mind as outstanding RC thinker/writers) and Anglican sources. Is it that Evangelicals are so focused on Protestant dogmatics that we have trouble applying the wisdom of the ancient texts to current challenges?


  2. It is true, Steve, that much of the most helpful resources come from our Liturgical brothers. I am even discovering that those sources that do not come from such traditions, come from individuals who keep time with their liturgical brothers and sisters as a sort of personal commitment apart from their commitments to their own faith tradition. (Of course, not ALL, but a lot).

    I think it testifies to the goodness of rehearsing the story through liturgy. If done well and apart from legalism, the liturgical calendar is such a shaping force that one cannot begin to explain its power. I will, personally, be a participant forever.

  3. Also, Steve, you might consider reading the books “Ancient-Future Worship” and “Ancient-Future Time” by Robert Webber. Incredible books that help us outside the RC and Anglican traditions embrace what is most important about liturgy.

    Also, I seem to remember a wonderful female theologian teach a class at the Abilene Lectures in 2010 on “Liturgy in the Churches of Christ” which was very good.


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