The Advent of Incarnation


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him –
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord –
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
— Isaiah 11:1-3, 9 NIV


 In Him we become fully human. In Him we begin to do His works. This involves incarnation, a descent of the Spirit into our deepest being and lives. In Him, the will, intellect, imagination, feeling, and sensory being are hallowed and enlivened. We begin to fully live, to participate in the eternal, the immutable, the indestructible. 
We live in a day, however, when few – even among those who call themselves Christian – believe in Christ’s Real Presence with us. Pope John Paul II made the sobering statement that for modern man, the sense of God is vanishing from the earth. [1]
The sense of God is vanishing from the earth, but in these four weeks of Advent, faithful followers of Jesus of Nazareth defy that non-sense.  We rouse ourselves so that this most important sense – our apprehension of the Incarnation of the Son of God with, within, and among us -will grow sharper.  We practice His presence in a special way, watching for and receiving His appearance as His Spirit works within us.  Even as we cry out for the Anointed One to enter our personal corners of non-sense, we also offer ourselves that He might come through us. We long for that glorious day when the earth will be utterly saturated with the knowledge of Him, and His descent enables us to participate in that eternal goodness today — alleluia! Rather than languishing with the blind and deaf world, let us celebrate Advent as the peculiar people who look intently to the Unseen Real.
Father of lights, we lift our longing hearts to you.  We confess that, apart from Your life within us, we would turn away from Your Son’s appearance.  Come, Holy Spirit and quicken our belief that You are here.  Fill our lives with the knowledge of You, Holy God.  Grant us to see the unseen that we might join the angels filling the sky with worship of the Anointed One. Hallow and enliven us in this Advent season, that we may be channels of Your incarnational Presence for our loved ones, the strangers we encounter each day, and even our enemies.  We thank You, we praise You, we love You for giving us life, and we ask now for even more of You.  

[1] Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence (Westchester, Crossway Books, 1989), 11.
Photograph:  Liesel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the books and ministry of Leanne Payne.