JESUS DID NOT LEAVE US A RELIGION
Christmas is done. It will soon be Easter. Easter is not just a calendar event. It’s a happening in which The resurrected Christ becomes our life and in which we are drawn into the life of God. You are in His Fellowship and God is part of you. Adam is undone and you are you in Christ. Why because Jesus rose again to become your life. We call this incarnation.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient being who is the material manifestation of god. The word is used to mean the manifestation of God on earth as Jesus of Nazareth. In the church incarnation means the manifestation of God in His Sons and daughters. Personally it is the Christ of God expressed as you.
Incarnation, its reality, cogency and agency is celebrated as the Lord’s Table which reminds us of the reality that those who eat Jesus flesh and drink His blood live in His Life. ‘Those who eat me will live because of me’ means that those for whom He is life will impart His life.
Leanne Payne wrote in an online post, “Nouwen summarizes his life as a Christian by saying, “I am called to become bread for the world: bread that is taken, blessed, broken and given”. Similarly, Oswald Chambers equates the Christian call to becoming broken bread and poured-out wine. “Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children” (September 30). Many sermons and worship songs draw on this metaphor to symbolize what it means to live in God’s service.”
‘Eating Christ’ is simply agreeing with Jesus that He is our life. As we eat Christ, He, becomes our life. As daughters and sons we are His life and having agreed with Him that He is our life we are servants filled with His spirit and life. As representative of Jesus His presence in us makes us emblems of His bread and wine to others.
The incarnation is the foundation of Kingdom life. The son of God was incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth. This same Jesus is incarnated in you. God is full of mystery and paradox because God is. He is life and the progenitor of life. God’s life flows to us through His Son and it is in seeing Jesus that we see who God is. We are baptised into Father and His life through His Son Jesus. Through a human being, Jesus of Nazareth we are made one with God – which is to say that we are made who we are: Sons and daughters of God.
To believe Jesus is to be incarnated. Bob Hawke liked to talk of the Clever Country. Malcolm Turnbull envisioned us as the Innovation Nation. New Creation life in any form comes not from more faith, more pragmatism ors ‘a prayer mandate.’ It comes from something as simple and profound as embracing the incarnation as the prime reality in which we live.
THE PRESENCE OF AN ENDLESS LIFE IS IN YOU
“He [Jesus] has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men. We will begin, then, with the creation of the world and with God its Maker, for the first fact that you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it in the beginning.” (1)
Clearly the term new creation is not a randomly chosen label. It is what we have been saved too: A regenerated life. This is what John is describing in John versus 1-4 and what Paul is denoting with the words, ‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.’ The Word not only made the world and us. He instigated and recreates the new creation in us and through us.
“For by the sacrifice of His own body He did two things: He put an end to the law of death which barred our way; and He made a new beginning of life for us.” (2) The life of God flowing into us begins the moment we agree that Jesus is our life because we have been already drawn into His life. This we start living before we enter eternal life because life is a state of being. It is us imbued with spirit and life because we have been made one with the life of God in the same manner that Jesus is one with God.
Such life has nothing to do with law, rite or religion and everything to do with Christs life as your life. God is incarnated in you and His Spirit is manifesting as you. This is the essence of Christ’s gospel and the only gospel there is – that has any validity or life-giving power.
WELL DIRECTED LIVING
Since God has incarnated you and all of us with the fullness of Himself, there is no need to ask for something more. We already have infinity within. We simply need to be who we are: The Sons of God here to multiply what Jesus began. But keep this in mind. Holy Spirit and the gifts do not exist in some separated realm. Separation has been undone in Jesus and we possess the oneness in ourselves and together that is enjoyed by the trinity.
The trinity is interwoven into our being and we are the manifestation of God’s life. If there is anything to be repented of it is our living in separation and our bending every effort to secure the separation we already possess. Live in the new covenant and the anointing and the gifts will find their proper place. Attempt them in separation and they take on the nature of witchcraft.
(1) St. Athanasius. On the Incarnation - Enhanced Version (pp. 1-2). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition.
(2) St. Athanasius. Ibid (p. 12). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition.