March 5, 2024
Phil Price

A rather obtuse theological word that bounces around Divinity School discussions but probably isn't heard much in Starbucks conversations.
When was the last time “incarnation” was a discussion topic at your dinner table? 
Incarnation is this idea that God becomes embodied. God takes on human flesh. High becomes low. Ethereal becomes tangible. 
Christians claim that God became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. 
The second verse of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” gives it to us straight up.
Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
late in time behold him come,
offspring of the Virgin's womb:
veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th'incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel.
This idea of incarnation changes everything we thought we knew about God. It is probably the most revolutionary and upsetting (in the sense of overturning previously held ideas) theological breakthrough ever. We had always thought of God as high and lifted up, powerful and mighty, up there and out there, for us and against our enemies. 
None of these ideas make it past the incarnation breakthrough. 
Matthew gives it to us probably clearer than any of the early Christian writers. “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.” Incarnation as simple and clear as it gets. It changes everything.