From Scott Erickson's "Honest Advent":
Incarnation is the process of becoming seen.
To be seen is to allow yourself to be known. To be known is to risk being loved . . . or not.
I remember my friend Taylor saying to me one time, “I don’t want God to love me. I just want God to tell me what to do. Because if I let God love me, He will love me the way I am. And if I let God love me the way I am, I will have to see the way I am. And I don’t want to see the way I am. So I’d rather God just tell me what to do.”
Why is being seen so hard?
It’s hard because when you decide to live into your true self - your strengths and weaknesses, your light and shadow, your superpowers and your kryptonites - you are revealing yourself to the world, and you can now be touched. Loved, rejected, embraced, ignored . . . and all of the other complicated interactions that come with human relationships.
One of the invitations of Advent is the contemplation of God being seen, which is to say, 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣.
You might think God in flesh would be the most all- encompassing, attractive Being there ever was with no risk of rejection, but the answer to that assumption is a big biblical nope!
What we see in the chronicles about Jesus’ life is that being seen was complicated for Him too. His incarnation was not void of hardship and heartbreak.
But what we see in Jesus is a spirituality that is grounded in the never-ending spring of LOVE that was the source of everything He did. It was the source that enabled Him to forgive the haters. It was the source that empowered Him to lay down His own life for those He loved . . . which is humanity.
May it be known that the Giver of existence took the same risk we all have to take daily - to be seen and known as the person we really are. The risk of incarnation is the risk of love.
A woman at a well once inquired about this wellspring, and Jesus replied, “I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.”
Jesus offered to her what He had received Himself. He offers that same wellspring to us today.
May you never thirst again at the wellspring waiting inside you.
From Pastor Josh: The reflection today made me think of this song from the Avett Brothers, a favorite of mine. It's about growing up, being seen, sifting gold from garbage and taking a risk w/ hope.