The Incarnation is the basis of the infinite worth of every human person. In God’s Son we are all sons and daughters. His birth into the world means new birth for all. He becomes like us to make us like him. God unites himself to all humanity, making us holy and whole.
Therefore, becoming children of God means we also treat others as children of God. This is the true reason why Advent and Christmas ought to be seasons of generosity and kindness: because we remember the great mystery that the God has become one of us, transforming what it means to be human. We see Christ himself in everyone.
Paul puts it like this:
"From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us" (2 Corinthians 5:16–19).
“From a human point of view” means defining others (and ourselves) by faults and limitations, status in society, race or gender, opinions and behaviors, what they can or cannot do for me. But Christ bulldozes these distinctions to clear the ground for new creation. Not only that—he has made us the stewards and laborers of the field. We practice this work of reconciliation by overcoming these divisive ways and regarding everyone as “their true selves, their child-of-God selves,” thereby welcoming them into the truth of who they are in Christ.
Spend time meditating on the mystery that God himself becomes a man. Let that be a source of motivation today to practice reconciliation today. How will treat the next person you see as if he/she were Christ himself?
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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Who Is My Neighbor?
About the Author
Nick Chambers is the Director of Spiritual Formation at Calvary UMC