The meaning of the Incarnation

God breathed His Spirit into the dust. He creatively manifested Himself in many wondrous forms and processes that we now experience as the unfolding Universe. We are among the beings He is manifesting. Through us, God has chosen to subject Himself to distortion, namely lack, limitation, and separation. God is choosing to experience these illusions through us. But the Good News is that God can choose to transcend these perceptions, shining the light of His glory and love into our hearts and revealing to us the truth that we are neither separate nor limited nor lacking. We are not alone. We are not helpless. We are not deficient in any way.

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
— John 6:63

When we believe that we have problems or that we are helpless or alone, we are putting our faith in matter instead of Spirit. We are putting our faith in shadows and reflections instead of the Light. We may object: “But the world seems so real!” Of course it does. It was made for our senses; as far as we know, it exists only through our senses. We have no access to the world except through our experience. And what is that? It is the sum total of our perceptions. We are effectively trapped in the illusions of space and time, which are the dimensions we traverse to prove that we are not all connected, and that the past is gone and the future hasn’t arrived yet. But God has already called the entire creation good. From His perspective, it is finished. From our perspective, He isn’t done yet. That’s because He is not limited to the bounds of time except insofar as He chooses to experience His creation through us.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
— John 1:14

To incarnate is to dwell in a body. The message of the Incarnation is that bodies matter. Illusory or not, matter matters. When Jesus said “the flesh counts for nothing,” he was saying that it is not the source of our life; rather, “the Spirit gives life.” But just because it is not the Source does not mean it doesn’t matter. I have no desire to be “so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good.” If anything, I want to be heavenly minded so that I can be of earthly good. If Love doesn’t manifest in feeding the hungry, helping the poor, and caring for the sick, it is not Love. Rather, it is only a “resounding gong and a clanging symbol.” (1 Corinthians 13:1) Love is about getting our hands dirty. Love is not about staying up in heaven but bringing it down to earth. That’s the message of the Incarnation, and we need look no further than the life of Jesus to see how it’s done. It is through our bodily, physical acts of selfless service that we communicate the spiritual truth to others. I see you. You are not alone. You are loved.