This week Morningtide friends who signed up for our Advent Read-along will finish our study of On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandra. Going into this I didn’t know what to expect. The book looked thin enough to finish during the season of Advent. Reading the first few paragraphs made me think that the task would not be too difficult. Finding an audio version on You Tube, I knew I had a means to get the material into me should reading fail me. However, it’s never as easy or as doable as you think when you set out to do something, is it? At least for me my eyes are always bigger than my stomach so to speak. Thanks to my Morningtide friends I got through it, as imperfectly as it was, and the experience drew me closer to God. I saw Jesus in a new way. I saw myself in a new way. I saw others in a new way. To God be the thanks, and to my Morningtide friends for taking this journey with me. Here are a few thoughts from the book that I will meditate on for a very long time.
On our Facebook group, Nov. 27, 2017, I shared, ” I keep thinking about the theme of re-creation, that Jesus is Creator and Re-Creator, that He didn’t just come to wipe away my sins (which He did) but also to re-create me in His image. I also keep thinking about in which ways I am participating in that re-creation process and in which ways I’m of no help at all, actually working against it. Oh Lord, help me to participate with re-creation and not to work against it.”
On Dec. 4th I shared, “I was pretty blown away with the idea that the Creator was contained in a body, yet not constrained. He continued to hold all things together and was everywhere present while in His body. That’s mind blowing. My understanding of Jesus is becoming much more than it was before I began reading On the Incarnation.”
On Dec. 11th I shared, “I’m struck by the matter of fact statement that St. Athanasius shares about the courage of the faithful in the face of death, that even children and women bravely faced death rather than deny Christ. I find myself facing many trials right now, and I’m not at all brave about them.”
Later in December, “My favorite portion of this section was the illustration of the stubble, fire, and asbestos. Though I don’t know the science behind what he’s talking about I imagined what he said and it gave me a good picture of death being soaked up by Life, the Life of Christ in me. This was very helpful, especially when I don’t “feel” the Life, I can imagine the Life of Christ soaking up everything that is vulnerable to death in me. This is a very helpful illustration.”
Finally today’s share, “In the feats of the saints St. Athanasius recounts, I am reminded of what it looks like to be a Christian, one worthy of the riches of the Kingdom of God. My prayer, “Lord have mercy on me a sinner, and God grant me many years that I may repent. Lord, I want to be like you but the road is so long. Be with me on the journey and finish the work that You started. Amen.”
May Christ the Incarnate God be with you in 2018. Happy New Year! “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”