The Divine Incarnation
Speaking of divine Incarnation is a pure Christian particularity; only Christianity says that “God became Man so that Man becomes God”.
In Christianity, God did not stay in His heavens, but “emptied” Himself and came down to the Earth. He took the form of a servant, and was perfectly united to Man without losing any divine attribute. On the contrary, He sanctified Man and lifted him to the divine realm.
Surely, this great mystery surpasses Man’s logic and understanding. It can only be fathomed through absolute and infinite love.
Saint Gregory the Theologian says: “Great is the mystery. No matter how beautiful the liturgical texts that try to express it, the rest can only be perceived in silence”.
2- God Visits Man:
What does it mean that God himself was incarnate? Is this possible?
First of all, there is nothing that God cannot do. So, the Incarnation is not impossible to Him. It is all related to us, how we perceive this divine act.
God loved us even unto death. In daily life, we say: if you love someone you go to see him.
Through His condescendence, God achieves what Adam had failed to do by his haughtiness.
Thus, the Holy Church chants: “You came down to Earth to save Adam. Having not found him, you went down to seek him in hell”.
Thus, God visited us, having become Man and redeemed us with His own blood. Hence, Nativity is clearly linked to the other feasts, especially Holy Resurrection, the Feast of feasts. The One was incarnate was also crucified and He also resurrected.
Through incarnation, Heaven was wide open, the curtain of the Jewish Temple was torn, the prophecies came true, we became partakers of divine nature (2Peter1: 4).
So, if Annunciation is the when divine Incarnation happened, Nativity is when this Incarnate God appeared in the Flesh.
Therefore, we chant “Today is born from the Virgin” (Service of the Forefeast of Nativity, ninth hour), in the same tune as “Today is hanged on the Cross” because the Lamb of Bethlehem is par excellence the Passover Lamb.
The beginning of our salvation is realized at the Incarnation of Christ. Thus, the Lord’s feasts are all linked together, as they unfold the fulfillment of God’s economy of salvation to humankind.
The name Jesus means “God is among us”. This is the good news, the most joyful announcement. Hence comes the word “Gospel” (Gr. evangelio: good news; Evangelismos: Annunciation) which means the “good news”.
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