Collect on the Incarnation

Daniel Bonnell, "Jesus Praying," pen and ink

We praise you Lord, our God, that your love for us took the strange shape of enfleshment; you made your way in this world with skin, bone, fingernails, eyelashes . . .

hungerpains, parched lips, abandonment – “made like us in all respects” but without sin.

We acknowledge our deep needs before you: our rebelliousness,  brokenness, estrangement from each other and ourselves, and our deepest need of all, to be known once and for all, inside and out, coming and going, seeking and being found.

May we make our ways in this world along the grain of your way, through Jesus Christ our Lord and according to the power of your Spirit. Amen.

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2 thoughts on “Collect on the Incarnation

  1. If Jesus is just like us, if he is human, in many respects? If for example, he makes errors, even in major doctrinal matters (regarding his place in the Trinity, and so forth)? Then? What are the implications of that? Is this as comforting as many have thought?

    • Bretton, whatever comfort the Church draws from its confession of Jesus’ divinity and humanity is on account of his full humanity (whatever that might mean), namely that he redeems and restores all that makes us human. As Gregory of Nazianzus puts it, “For what he has not assumed, he has not healed” (“An Examination of Apollinarianism”). Statements such as these are in my view simply trying to continue speaking of Christ in the light of such passages as Hebrews 2, especially vv.14-18:

      “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

      To questions like you raise, it seems to me generally unhelpful to press Jesus’ self-awareness beyond what the Gospel accounts allow us to say.

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