“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:31)
This is God’s style – to entrust the beginning of the greatest episode of all civilisation to a peasant girl, living in an obscure middle-east township that no one had ever heard of. The birth of Jesus is the one happening big enough to make sense of events on the only one of all the planets to be inhabited! We call this event the Incarnation - God becoming human in space and time.
1. The Incarnation connects with our confused History. True history doesn’t consist of the rise and fall of nations, in the fragments of collapsed dreams or in a meaningless cycle of births and deaths, but in the coming of a King and a kingdom that will outlast all others (v. 33).
2. The Incarnation connects with our sinful Humanity. From Luke 1 onwards emerged the God-Man, Jesus, who would teach, heal, love and die in his bid to reclaim every human being in the world - so creating out of His followers a new humanity that would live for ever.
3. The Incarnation connects with our true Home. It is only because of that Birth – and all that followed from it – that the Bible ends as it does with Eden restored as our true Home, and with the banishment of the evil and conflicts that have plagued civilisation.
4. The Incarnation connects with our final Hope. No, this world was not a strange cosmic accident! It’s here as a school, a training ground where we can come to know God in Jesus Christ and so look forward to the New Heaven and New Earth that are surely coming.