Behind the Christmas story, sometimes hidden behind the angels, the manger and the donkey, is the reality of the Incarnation. Gritty, down to earth and powerful.
These quotes from Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth point out aspects of the life of Jesus that we sometimes miss; especially at this time of year.
The purpose of incarnation was so we could see the glory of God. As we look at Jesus, we see the love of God, the mercy of God, the joy of God, and the goodness of God. But don’t forget, as you watch Jesus, that we also get to see the zeal and the consuming anger of a God who hates injustice and abuse. Our God is a consuming fire, and the kingdom of God doesn’t always just blow through the window like a soft spring breeze. Often, it comes only with a vigorous fight! There are times to make a plate of cookies to take to a neighbour, and there are other times to make a scene.
This second one is a bit shocking, but I can’t see anything wrong with it (except, perhaps, a lack of taste).
Jesus was born; He messed His pants; He grew up, hit puberty, got sick, puked, got tired, woke up disoriented, sneezed, scratched his armpits; and yes, Jesus pooped. He got hungry and thirsty and hurt Himself while playing and working. As He grew, He was curious about life and spiritual matters and was always asking questions. His voice, body, and personality all changed. We know that during His ministry, He got sad, angry, frustrated, and fearful. He laughed, He cried, He fought temptation of every kind, and He experienced physical death. In His birth, He was vulnerable. In His boyhood, He was playful and inquisitive. And as a full-grown manly man, He was the guy next door, a real rustic hombre.
I seem to remember that I got this book free on Kindle, but even at around four quid, it’s worth a read. The title (and my selected quotes) imply that it is a theological book about the Incarnation, but it is actually a lifestyle guide for intentionally missional churches.