Sister Cheryl Rose, HM

I can’t believe this thought never really clicked with me before! Jesus was not the ONLY one who incarnated! HIS was the Incarnation I focused on, respected, anticipated each year, and treasured.  Now this year, I am being blown away by the idea of another Incarnation—my own!! We, too, are souls who have come to Earth, enfleshed in a human body. We, too, are having the human experience of our soul being expressed in bodily form!

Let me back up….how did this dawning come to me? A friend was telling me about how she has had a “war” with her body for years, overriding its needs for more sleep, or healthy food, or time to be restored and refreshed, etc. Now her aches and pains are finally standing up and serving notice: we cannot keep you going if you don’t take better care of us! So, she is working on ACCEPTING that she is in a body now. That got me thinking—wow, we are incarnated ALSO!

This year my thinking has shifted; it’s not that Jesus deigned to come down and take on our lowly form, but that by INCARNATING, Jesus raised the dignity and preciousness of our own human form. He became enfleshed to share fully our human experience of being in a body. 

That raises bodily-ness to a new stature, and calls for new reverence and profound appreciation for the absolute miracle of a soul living in a physical human form! I’m seeing with new eyes that the body is not our servant, a beast of burden that must be driven to perform as we wish, often with little thanks or help from us. 

What if the gift I’m to receive this year for Christmas, God’s present with my name on the gift tag, is to realize that I am living in a most exquisitely-fashioned and divinely-designed human body? What if I look differently at this body of mine and take notice—with eyes that can see, as Jesus did; ears that can hear music and human voice and nature sounds; senses that astound science with their ability to take in and translate and connect with all other forms of creation, from smell of grass, to taste of Christmas treats, to feel of soft new blankets, warm fires, and cool snowflakes! 

And what if MY gift to God, with God’s name on the gift tag, is to celebrate the Incarnation of God’s Son by reverencing my OWN human form, not taking for granted the profound gift of it, and in this appreciation, unite my humanity with that of Jesus. “For God so loved the world…” that Jesus took on our bodily form in the ultimate mark of love, of union!

Happy Incarnation to us all!!!