Words of Hope: The Incarnation

Shann, my husband, had a book interview last week. His interviewer had respect for Shann’s faith but also incredulity. How could Shann, a learned scholar, researcher of genocide, atomic theory, clinical and neuropsychology, consider the incarnation possible? The interviewer implied this departure from “reason” was too great for the “rational” mind. Shann told the interviewer–from his research, people who refuse mystery, or the notion of the miraculous, often live in a kind of mindless belief in the world as infused with fracture and desolation. There is, of course, fracture and desolation in our daily lives. However, the world is also infused with light, unity, and intimacy for those attuned to the mystery of love and its disciplines. For Shann, the real question is not a question of the incarnation but the question, does love exist? If we deny the very existence of love, any reasoning around something as expansively loving as God incarnate becomes impossible. Love is not science; it includes and transcends science. 

I know my Dad would have loved Shann’s reply. He would probably ask for a copy of the interview to listen to again and again. My Dad loved the image of the incarnation—Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’ He revered Mary and her willingness to take the road of public shame and possible death to honor God. My Dad believed there is no power greater than love, and with love, all things are possible.

“Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” – I John 4:7-8