I'm marveling tonight, once again, at the miracle of the Incarnation and what it means for us.
Tonight it was Augustine who opened up the storehouse to me. In an adaptation for Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (do I quote this book enough?!), he wonders at the the "Word made flesh" (John 1:14), quoting 1 Peter 1:24-25: "all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever."
Interpreting that text, he writes, "What is 'the Word became flesh?' The gold became grass. It became grass for to be burned; the grass was burned, but the gold remained."
It's an incredible allegory, isn't it? And straight from Scripture, no less. I love the picture of our Jesus, who "was with God in the beginning" (John 1:1), who was and is God, humbling Himself to be flesh, making Himself grass for us. Or as Paul puts it in Philippians 2:7, he "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant." The Greek word is ekenosen, which means "he emptied himself" (or poured himself out). And yet we know, and Augustine reminds us, he could not cease being God. The grass was burned, but the gold remained.
May we never forget to marvel at this holy wonder, the gold made grass, the Word made flesh. Everything else hinges upon it, and every promise through it is fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 1:20