In the Darkness… In the Womb of the Soul… Incarnation

 on November 25, 2022

This is how the incarnation begins. It has always been this way, and it will always be this way, in darkness, endless, perpetual incarnation in every human soul: “Let us make humankind in our image.” In the beginning the earth was without form, darkness covered the face of the deep, as darkness often covers our human experience, God said: “Let there be light, and there was light.”

Moses, Abraham, Samuel, Jacob, Elijah all speak of epiphanies of grace and divine presence in moments of impossible choices, sheer terror, impossible loss, personal danger… And yet, divine presence, divine revelation.

Isaiah spoke of one servant prophet: “We counted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” And yet this servant prophet spoke: “Morning by morning he awakens me, wakens my ear to listen as one being instructed.” This is awakening; this is enlightenment, the presence, the incarnation of the divine Image within us. This is the Word of God birthing a sanctifying consciousness within us. This is the birth of Christ within the world, within you. Your soul is the cradle, the stable over which the angels sing. Incarnation comes to us, speak to us, forms us, brings light to us—births us.

This is the human experience of God emptying God’s Self for our enlightenment that we might become enlivened in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit. This is the divine experience of the Word sent forth into the dark world, forming the world, forming the unique expression of who you are now and who you will become. This is the eternity of life which suffuses your every breath. This is your eternal Natal Day.

This is nowhere more profoundly on display than in the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her flesh bore divinity with the accompanying threat of the deepest scandal, and beyond censure—the threat of death.

The Bible, which unflinchingly portrays human despair now records the birth of a new consciousness, a truth contemplatively understood, the fulfillment of all the prophets have longed for. As St. Paul experienced and records: “That which was hidden for generations but has now been revealed to his saints… the riches of the glory of this mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

We often pray: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We can likewise pray: “Your heart live in my heart; your soul live in my soul; your mind live in my mind; your strength live in my strength.”

It was the will of God to birth the material creation and it is the will of God to birth your consciousness of God. Along with the birth of Christ this Christmastide, we celebrate your birth in Christ.

  • Max Woolaver

    The Venerable Max Woolaver is rector of St. Andrew's, Grimsby. He is also an avid singer/songwriter as well as a retreat leader. Max was ordained in the Diocese of Niagara in 1986 and received his M.Div. from Wycliffe College, University of Toronto; he also studied at the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation.

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