Archive for December 19, 2008
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it. (…) He was the true Light; He enlightens every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God. And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth.”
God, the invisible Maker behind the universe, the Truth Himself, strapped on His sandals and walked the dusty roads of this earth. The Word of God at one point in our history sat at a well and chatted with a woman of low repute. The Foundation of all existence grew two arms of flesh and used them to hold little children. He had actual hands that He laid on their heads in blessing. He had actual vocal cords and learned human language, clothing His eternal nature with temporary rags.
Indeed, the Word became flesh.
For C. S. Lewis, the Incarnation was not simply the most important event in human history; it was an event so different from anything else that he considered human history to be the history of the Incarnation. He saw everything else only as an add-on to this most central and most wondrous event.
If Lewis is right, this earth will forever be known as the place in which the Word became flesh and took all flesh up into His eternal nature. Our story will be known as the story in which the Author Himself appeared as one of the characters, and then took the other characters by the hand and led them out of the book into unimaginable dimensions. The Author became ink and paper so that the ink and paper would be transformed into three-dimensional beings who could henceforth live and eat and converse with the Author in His own house. The history of humanity is the Incarnation, for all of mankind is forever taken up in that One Man—the God-Man Jesus Christ.
For this reason Lewis believed that, in order to properly understand anything in this world, we have to put it in relation to the Incarnation. And this, of course, includes the Bible. He thought that a view in which the Bible loomed larger than the Incarnation was extremely distorted. A view in which the Incarnation was only mentioned occasionally and the Bible itself was the object of constant attention, he considered wrong.
Either the Incarnation is true or false. If true, then its truth is big enough to accommodate all lesser truths, including the divine origin of the Bible. If false, it renders everything else meaningless, including the Bible. Either the Bible stands second to the Incarnation or it does not stand at all.