God Moved Into the Neighborhood
..."He came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man"...
When I think of verse 11 of the Creed, I go back to the words of the well-known pastor and spiritual teacher Eugene Peterson. In his The Message Biblical translation it says, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”
God became a human embryo in the womb of his mother Mary. He took on human flesh, was born through her physical body, and moved into the neighborhood of humanity. The implications of this reality are both incredible and shocking.
God in all his/her divinity and power took on a human body, like our own with all its intricacies and complexities. God’s physical body grew and developed safely in the womb of a human mother, like each of us - and in time, moved through her birth canal to utter cries and take the first breaths of air as an infant.
For Jesus to become a human like you and I is a messy, complex, and beautiful mystery - one we can only begin to scratch the surface of this side of Heaven. Until that time in history, no other belief system made such an offensive claim about the Divine.
How could God possibly do this - and, why?
The answer lies in those words of Eugene Peterson - because God wanted to move into the neighborhood of humanity.
God wanted to make a home with every single woman, man, and child to exist - to be in a relationship - to go especially to where people experience pain, suffering, loneliness, and desolation.
No neighborhood of humanity was off limits. God wanted to go and touch and live in every single human heart - and so, sharing in our human experience was critical for us to be able to relate to and feel and come to experience the Divine in a radically new way.
This changes everything. If Jesus did not know the human experience you and I live through, how could we ever possibly relate to him as a Friend?
The shared humanity and divinity of Jesus is the key that gives us access - it allows us to approach him with complete realness and authenticity.
When Jesus was born on that cool night in a cave in Palestine, he moved into the neighborhood of humanity.
God wants to live and act and breathe through you - in your neighborhood.
Will you allow that? Will you participate in that with Jesus?