Cry for Incarnation

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was;
and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.
Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
Luke 10:33-34

Christ in us and we in Him: this is the concrete reality. God was incarnate of Mary by the Spirit of Christ; man is indwelt, in-gifted, in-graced, in-godded… To be separate from the Presence is indeed to be separate from all that is ultimately real. Only as the Church cries for incarnation, for the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit in her midst, can she hope to reach those who are in fact separated from the very nature of things. [1]

Advent calls us to penitence, to kneel in fresh heartbreak over our separation from God’s Presence. Without such awareness, we err. We commit the Pharisee’s sin, hurrying past those most blatantly in bondage and confusion, clucking our tongues as we rush to the shelter of our warm homes and cozy but impotent churches. Let us not forsake those in the hell of separation from the Unseen Real. Church, let us cry for incarnation! Let us cry to be filled with Christ’s Spirit, that we might bandage the wounds of those left for dead by the robbers of our day. Let us be indwelt by our God who became a helpless newborn in order to bring the estranged home.

Holy God, we confess our separation from you. From the womb we have suffered estrangement from Your Presence, and to this day we are guilty of both apathy and rebellion. Lord have mercy on us. We cry out to You now, come Lord Jesus. Indwell us, in-will us, be formed in our midst. Nothing else will do. Join us together as Your Body, that we may cry out with one voice. Make us a Church that can reach those who are most devastatingly separated from You and all reality.

[1] Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 1995), p. 96
Painting: Pelegrí Clavé, 1838, El bon samarità. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the books and ministry of Leanne Payne.

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