Yes, you saw correctly, the incarnations, plural. We know the importance of Jesus being the incarnate Word of God; God becoming flesh, so the world could “see” the “truth” of God, of God’s love for the world (John 1:1-18). Then, throughout His life, Jesus let us “see” that truth by loving, caring, healing, feeding, accepting, welcoming, loving, and forgiving all people. I believe we “saw” Jesus’, God’s love best, from the Cross when He said, “Father, forgive them. For they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Yes, Jesus being the Incarnate Word of God is very important.
We believe Jesus, God, created everything (John 1:1-5) “out of nothing” (Genesis 1:2), and God said it was all, “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Because God created everything, all of creation, is a part of God; hence, maybe, all creation was the First Incarnation of God. If that is so, God’s kingdom is everywhere. Maybe that is why Jesus spoke often about “God’s kingdom has come near” and “the kingdom of God is like…”. Then, again, as stated above, Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, lived God’s kingdom of love for all.
Then, after His resurrection and before He ascended, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into His disciples; calling and forming them to be The Church, to continue to help all people “see” God’s kingdom of love in every “thing” and every person. If so, the Church would be the Third Incarnation of God.
As important as it was for Jesus to be the Incarnate Word of God, for all to see and know God’s Love for the world, I like the idea about the possible two other Incarnations of God. I believe it is important for us see the world, as the First Incarnation of God, to know God is a part of everything. That understanding gives us a new and greater aspect on our original calling to be stewards, caretakers, of all creation (Genesis 1:28). As we learn to believe that, then we, The Church, as the Third Incarnation of God, will have a greater sense of urgency to live God’s love.
Why? As we know, our world, needs, more “Incarnational” love, to give us all more hope and peace. As the Incarnate Church of Jesus Christ, what if, we could see, as God sees? What if we could help all people “see” as God’s “sees” everything? I truly believe our world would be more loving and a much better place to live. That is what we strive to teach, preach, and live at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Nashville. Come join us, in-person or online, as we strive to bring God’s “Incarnational” love into our world.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions. Simple click on the comment/no comment button.