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The mystery of incarnation

Even after 100 years the Star of Bethlehem adorns every Christian home as a symbol of enlightenment and joy.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 02:50 IST
AF Nazareth
AF Nazareth

"God so loved the world that He gave us his only begotten son" (John 3:16). Today, Christians all over the world celebrate this great mystery of Incarnation, when the second person of the Christian Trinity took human form, and was born in the manger at Bethlehem: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." We understand it as the divine plan to unite all things in heaven and earth in Christ.

Bethlehem became the link between heaven and earth. The Father prepared it, the Spirit formed it and the Son assumed it.

He, who had an eternal dwelling in the bosom of the Father, came to be born in the hearts of men. His name was Jesus.

He was given another name, Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’.

It is hard to understand the humility of the Word becoming flesh. The humility began at Bethlehem. There was room for anyone who had a coin for the innkeeper, but no room for the Messiah.

He was already bearing his cross: of poverty, exile and humiliation, even as the angels sang to the shepherds, "Today in the city of David, is born to you a Saviour who is the Messiah, the Lord" (Luke 2;1). Besides poor shepherds, only the three wise men of the East found Jesus.

Seeing the star in the East, they set out in search of the King, and found Him when the star came to rest at the manger in Bethlehem.

Today the Star of Bethlehem adorns every Christian home as a symbol of enlightenment and joy, even after 2000 years.

According to Scripture, the incarnation signifies the union of two natures, the Divine and the human in a single person.

Christ became the second Adam through whom the human race started all over again and was reconciled to God, in continuity with the fallen race of man through the manhood taken from Mary.

A unique king without an army, disowned upon entering, rejected upon leaving; the manger and the cross became the two extremities of this Incarnation.

First Published: Dec 25, 2006 02:50 IST