Posts tagged ‘Incarnation’

Mother of God

Many times, when someone hears a Catholic call Mary the mother of god they are scandalized by the expression. And if the expression meant what many people think it meant, they should be scandalized! What does the title “mother of God” mean what you think it means?

First of all, let me say what the phrase does not mean. It does not mean that Mary created God. Any Catholic you talk to who has any education at all will tell you that is a false teaching. In fact the opposite is true. Jesus is the only infant who created his own mother!

Some would say that Mary is only the mother of the human part of Jesus, but that requires believing in a heresy for it to be true. Jesus is one person, and one person only. That person is fully divine and fully human and is not able to be separated into 2 persons. To do so takes us over into Gnosticism and it’s teaching of the spirit and flesh being separate beings. At no time was Jesus only reacting as a human or only reacting as a spirit. He was always reacting as both.

Well then, how can someone become the mother of a baby? Just as in natural conception, the child is both hers and the Holy Spirit’s. She became the “Mother if God” by giving birth to the person. No true Christian would ever dispute that Mary gave birth to Jesus. In doing so, she gave birth to the complete Jesus who was both 100% God and 100% man. So even though her own child created Mary, she is still “The mother of God” because Jesus is fully God and as a person who is both God and man he went through the birthing process.

So in spite of any misunderstandings, Mary truly does have the title mother of God once you know what that phrase means and does not mean. To say otherwise is to risk falling into heresy where Jesus can divide his natures from each other and is 50% God and 50% human instead of 100% both as one being. I hope that clears things up!

An Incarnation Celebration

I realize it’s August, but there is something on my heart that I need to share. And it can be summarized in one word – Christmas.

Yes, Christmas. It’s going to happen again this year, and there are some predictable things that will come with it. People will stress out about gifts to buy, going into debt again this year. Children will spend days wondering about what they are going to get, although some will give presents, too. The suicide rate will spike, and some marriages will finally break from the strain. Children will be told that Santa will bring them presents, so as to avoid offending anyone with stories about the birth of Jesus. Businesses will make the biggest money of the year, and it will all be over. Trees and wrapping paper will be recycled, and some things will be re-gifted.

BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

Let’s wind the clock back. Not to our childhood, but further back. 2000 years back! While many will read the Christmas stories in Matthew 1 and Luke 2, John summed up the incarnation succinctly in just one verse.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NKJV)

The Word becoming flesh, known as the incarnation, is a pivotal moment in history. It is the intersection of humanity and eternity, where the very creator of the universe condescends to commune with His creation. Without the incarnation there would have been no salvation. That is worth celebrating!
But do we really celebrate this incarnation by commercialism and rituals borrowed from ancient pagan rites? No! Now some may say that it doesn’t matter what the symbols and practices meant to pagans long ago, it just matters what they symbolize to us today. I would submit that it only matters what those things mean to God, not to us.

So I ask, how do we rightly celebrate the supreme gift given to us at the Incarnation? By giving gifts. But not the kind I wrote about above. We should celebrate by giving ourselves, the same way He gave himself for us. This year can be different. What a perfect time to begin living out in our lives the compassion of Christ. So often Jesus was “moved with compassion” and met the needs of others. We, too, can give to the poor, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and teach our children that the real meaning of giving is not just to write a check and walk away, but to be the very hands and feet of Jesus as we minister to those who He came to save!

So why write something like this in August? Because we can start planning now! Find a need and plan to fill it. Make it intentional. Don’t just hope an opportunity presents itself, but actively seek out ways to be a blessing in Jesus’ name this year. Oh, and please don’t just give to some church fund and excuse yourself from active participation. Don’t fall into the trap of “I gave at the office so my obligation is covered” and miss out on a rich blessing!

We can do it if we plan to do it. Make this year different. Build memories of Christmas with something other than what I got this year. Be the manifestation of the love of Jesus to someone this year. Introduce them to this Jesus who is “the Word made flesh” and have a true Incarnation Celebration this year.

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