“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” John 1:14

          One of the things that might get lost about Jesus’ birth is what it means for us on a personal, human level. We get used to the idea the Jesus has come as the saviour of the world to bring peace and redemption so that much of what we associate Christmas with is what God is doing on a grander, cosmic stage - and rightly so. But perhaps what gets lost is an even more foundational question: what does it mean that God entered into humanity?

         The term “incarnation” is a theological term that describes how God took on flesh and became human. Fully God and fully man at the same time. If you look at it from a big picture level, we can say that in his incarnation, Jesus gave us an example of what a perfect, sinless life and a loving, sacrificial death looks like.

          But on a more human level, what does it mean that God became human? First it means that God became like one of us. He became like you and me. Now we can see what God is like, because we see him in Jesus. We can see what makes him happy or angry or sad. We can see how he loved people, how he spoke to people, how he lived his life and the things that were important to him.

         Second, because God became human, we know that he entered into our experience. All of the things we experience - from hunger, suffering, and poverty to joy, gladness and community - are the same things Jesus experienced. He knows our struggles and the challenges we face because he experienced it himself. Because Jesus entered into our human story, he demonstrated solidarity and salvation.

       Christmas reminds us that God came near. May we be reminded of the God who entered into our story and our lives, and who calls us to follow him so that we might live out our faith by willfully and lovingly entering into the stories of others.

        「道成了肉身,住在我們中間,充充滿滿地有恩典有真理。我們也見過祂的榮光,正是父獨生子的榮光。」                         約翰福音一章十四節     

           可能已經被遺忘了的一件事,就是有關主耶穌的誕生對我們人類的層面或個人的真正意義。我們已經習慣了主耶穌是為世界帶來和平與救贖的救主的想法;因此當我們將聖誕節與上帝在更宏大的宇宙舞台上所做的事情聯繫在一起時,大部份的內容都會看為正確。但也因此失落了一個更基本的問題:上帝介入人類的歷史意味著什麼?     

           「道成肉身」是一個神學用語,描述了神成為一個有血有肉的人,完全的神和完全的人同時存在。如果你從宏觀的角度來看,我們可以說,祂的道成肉身給我們展示一個完美、無罪的生命和一個充滿愛與受死犧牲的樣式。  

             但在更人性化的層面上,神成為人是什麼意思?首先,它意味著神變得像我們中的一個人,祂變得像你我一樣。現在我們可以看到神是什麼樣的,因為我們在主耶穌裡看到了祂。我們可以看到是什麼讓祂高興、生氣或悲傷;我們可以看到祂如何愛人﹑祂如何與人交談﹑祂如何過祂的生活以及對祂來說重要的事情。

             其次,因為神成為人,我們知道祂進入了我們的世界,經歷我們所經歷的。所有事情從飢餓、苦難、貧窮到喜樂、歡欣或社區中的事情,主耶穌都經歷過。祂知道我們的掙扎和我們面對的挑戰,因為祂親身經歷了;因為主耶穌進入了我們人類的故事之中,祂向我們展示了合一﹑和諧和救贖。

           聖誕節提醒我們神的臨近。願我們想起那位進入我們的故事和生命的神,祂呼召我們跟隨祂,以致我們可以執意地帶着愛也進入別人的故事之中,來活出我們的信仰。 


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