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Kester Brewin – The Complex Christ ‘Incarnation’

February 21, 2007

The new thing that God did in the incarnation of Jesus defied all previous categories. An enfleshed God didn’t fit previous patterns. God was born again in Christ and now the Church stands in a similar place, and in need of a similar rebirth, to trace the descent the book of Philippians outlines, making ourselves nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, stripped of power and privilege.

And we must be born again into the place in which we are meant to serve. And once again, it is a movement of painful slowness of evolution not the immediate violence of revolution. So does Brewin write that as well as waiting, the church must be born again.

He writes using the categories of the parable of the sower to describe how we tend to treat newness in the church, by killing it off before it can take root.

1. we expose new growth too quickly to the force of the sun, leaving it to ‘burn out’, expecting too much of it too soon;

2. we surround it with too much to battle against, requiring it to justify its existence in the face of stronger organisms (often done with too many meetings!)

The better way is to treat the new way as Mary would have treated her new born son.  Thus we are  to become ‘wombs of the divine’ (p48).

"God came all the way to us – yet we now expect people to come so far towards us in church. Far away from their music, far away from their vernacular, far away from their visual language, their codes and symbols. God was born again – became nothing and re-emerged – in order to reach us in our own language, to live and grow up among us. As the body of Christ, we must do likewise and, just as for Christ, it will take immense courage." (p49)

He came secreted in Mary’s womb for 9 months, before emerging already opposed by those who were comfortable handling power.

"The quiet force of God’s evolution will not be detected by those looking for revival or those demanding reformation, for the embryonic is only detected by ultrasound, beyond the range of normal hearing." (p49)

Patience, patience.

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One Comment
  1. mitch permalink

    I’m finally getting caught up on your blog after being out and about (Miami, would have rather been in Liverpool with your trip!). . . Great stuff on the incarnation, THE theological touchstone for me. All I would add is that Tim’s, and to some degree my, friend Kenda Creasy Dean also used Mary as the model for her book on youth ministry, _The God-Bearing Life_, which is also spot on.

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