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The Incarnation
(A Christmas Reflection)

Cuthbert cross

The Incarnation 

God is our creator,
Almighty and all-glorious.
He made the heaven and the earth and all that they contain.
Before the world began he set in motion his plans
and out of nothing he brought all things into being.
He shaped the earth with his hands
and set the sun and moon on their heavenly courses.
He cast the stars into space
He drew together the seas and the land.
He filled his world with life and gave it breath.
The giraffe and the gnat, the whale and the mollusc.
He made human beings and gave them reason and wisdom
God is our creator  

God is a baby
Helpless and vulnerable.
He lies in strips of cloth and cries for his mother's milk.
He sleeps and soils his nappy
His head, eggshell fragile, lies in the crook of his mother's arm
Mouth pursed in sleep,
his hand curls around her finger.
Tiny fingers
Soft bones
Fragile hold on life
God is a baby  

Hands that shaped the earth,
Reach out blindly, grasping.
We raise our hands in worship  

God is King of heaven and earth
Majestic and victorious.
His power is unassailable.
He sits in judgement over us
And without him we cease to exist
He is the source of life
Above all
Beyond all
Before all
Beneath all
He is the foundation of all that is
And without him creation flies apart
Into the nothingness from whence it came.
God is King of heaven and earth  

God is fragile and frail,
Dependent and needy.
His tiny body curls against his mother
Seeking warmth against the cold
Seeking comfort against the night
Seeking safety against the threat
Of a world hostile to new life
Cold and indifferent
To the miracle taking place In this quiet corner
Seeking sustenance
Without which he will fade and die
God is fragile and frail  

God is King of heaven and earth
God is fragile and frail
We prostrate ourselves
Humble before his might
Human, as he is  

God is holy and righteous.
He is perfect and without sin.
His glory shines from his face
As the sun reflects on unruffled waters.
He is clothed in purity and perfection
Unsullied by taint of sin
Who can stand before him?
Who can gaze on his face and live?
Who is there, compared to our God?
God is holy and righteous.  

God inhabits mortal flesh
He conjoins himself to that which is feeble and fragile
He clothes himself in weakness and frailty
Flesh that falters and falls
Flesh that weakens and wavers
Our flesh.
Sinful flesh?
God inhabits mortal flesh  

God is holy and righteous
God inhabits mortal flesh
We kneel before him in penitence.  

God redeems our flesh as he lives among us
As he clothes himself in it
God takes human flesh
And makes it acceptable.
God takes human flesh
And restores it to glory.
God takes human flesh
And flesh corrupted by sin
Is beautified by God's grace  

God takes human flesh 

God takes our flesh 

God redeems human flesh 

God redeems us. 

Let us then use our bodies
To worship him
To praise him
To pray to him.  

Our heads lifted in worship
Our hands raised in praise
Our knees bowed in prayer.  

Let us dance
Let us jump for joy
Let our bodies express the truth
Our minds have acknowledged.  

Jesus is born
Jesus is born in us!  

Let that which he has created,
that which he has inhabited,
that which he has redeemed,
that which he has sanctified -
let our bodies
offer his praise and prayer.  

'I appeal to you therefore, bothers and sisters…
to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and acceptable to God,
which is your spiritual worship.'

Rev Jane Denniston, Sanctuary in the City


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St Cuthbert's Parish Church. 5 Lothian Road. Edinburgh. UK. EH1 2EP

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