05 December 2009

Advent Week 2: "The Irreverent Doctrine of the Incarnation"

In the preface of the Phillips Bible paraphrase (kind of a precursor to the Message), CS Lewis offers a word relating the bible text to the incarnation. He likens the particularity and style of the Greek text as betraying its writers of not being necessarily in full command of the language of our sacred Text. Here is an unique and interesting thought and meditation for our Advent preparation and bible-reading.

"Does this shock us? It ought not to, except as the Incarnation itself ought to shock us. The same divine humility which decreed that God should become a baby in a peasant-woman's breast, and later an arrested field-preacher in the hands of the Roman police, decreed also that He should be preached in a vulgar, prosaic and unliterary language. If you can stomach the one, you can stomach the other. The Incarnation is in that sense an irreverent doctrine: Christianity, in that sense, an incurably irreverent religion. When we expect that it should have come before the World in all the beauty that we now feel in the Authorized Version we are as wide of the mark as the Jews were in expecting that the Messiah would come as an earthly King. The real sanctity, the real beauty and sublimity of the New Testament (as of Christ's life) are of a different sort: miles deeper and further in."

O God,
you wonderfully created
and yet more wonderfully restored
the dignity of human nature;
grant that we may share the divine life
of your Son Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

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