Incarnational Love

Gerard van Honthorst,  Adoration of the Shepherds , 1622

Gerard van Honthorst, Adoration of the Shepherds, 1622

β€œThe word became flesh and dwelt among us.” ~ John 1:14

God intruded into our world. He entered into and joined the broken, the mundane, the beautiful, and the chaos. The light of God infiltrated the darkness. God inserted Godsself into creation. But it wasn't in condemnation or motivated by judgment. God didn't come to scold nor destroy humanity. The Supernatural entered into nature to resurrect it, to rescue it from the darkness. God's motivation was not judgment but love, pure, perfect, infinite love. A love that fell from heaven, crashing like waves upon the shore, befell the world in a way that it could never be the same.

I need this truth today. It moves, inspires, and encourages me. More importantly, when I grapple with and internalize it, this truth shapes me. It doesn't merely say that "God loves you;" it shows me He does. The Divine doesn't sit at a distance but enters into our lives. 

This shapes us personally in a significant way. There are these voices we all live with that exist in our heads, voices of doubt, insecurity, self-loathing, guilt, or shame. They tell us who we are and what we're worth, and they often dictate our lives in harmful ways. They drive us to do things seeking approval, value, and in some cases, self-destruction. Despite what we do, the voices remain. No win is ever really enough. No one's approval convinces us that we are valuable, and the cycle goes on. But Jesus enters our chaos and offers clarity on who we are and what we're worth. We are loved and pursued. We are enough for Jesus as we are. Not because we are already whole, but because we are His and are worth making whole. Because He actually loves us.

It also reminds us that God is with us. There are no moments too mundane, profane, or unholy for God. If Jesus could enter into His creation and bear the weight of Humanities betrayal, sin, and evil, there are no moments in our lives too corrupt, shocking, unimportant, or boring for Him. When God entered our world, God showed us that the Divine longs to enter our lives, the entirety of our lives.

I am far from what I am supposed to be. I am far from trusting Jesus enough or loving God the way I should. Yet, this type of love, while it loves me in my brokenness and failings also loves me enough never to leave me there. This love picks me up and carries me. It does for me what I am unable or unwilling to do for myself.

We are each relentlessly pursued by this transformative love that refuses to leave or forsake us. Its the love God has for each of us and all of creation. The incarnation of God offers hope to my broken heart and soul, reminding me that even though things are not as they should be, God is not through with us. 

Let's Live Into This Today:

  1. Spend a moment reflecting on this. Open your heart to God in prayer and contemplate the truth that God cares enough about you to enter into His creation to redeem you. What doubts, fears or failures does the reality of God's love confront?

  2. Think for a moment about other ways this truth may shape your view of yourself, your neighbors, and your world. Ask God to continually work in your heart to transform and remake you so that you care about others more like God.

  3. This week, today even, begin to remind yourself that God has entered your life, every moment of it, and let that start to redeem and remake it. The Spirit of God dwells in the people of God, and while we will one day experience the fullness of the presence of God, find practical ways today to remind yourself of God's nearness in moments of reflection, prayer, and action.

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