Christians believe that not only is Jesus the Son of God; we believe Jesus is God. But why would God want to come among us and be one with us? Why would God bother to share our humanity?
We are loved for who we are, created in his image and likeness. Whatever boundary (sin) existed between the divine and the human was overcome in Jesus’ birth. Like revelation, the Incarnation is God’s movement toward us in love. If every man, woman, and child could feel this unconditional love from both heaven and earth, all would be nice. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.
Psychologists tell us the human need for acceptance is essential, but distorted self-perception can diminish how we feel around others. It’s not uncommon for shame (embarrassment for who we are) and guilt (embarrassment for what we’ve done) to distort a healthy self-perception to the point of withdrawal. When we think, incorrectly, that God can’t love us because of something we’ve done or said, we isolate ourselves, shutting ourselves off from the love and support of God and others.
The fact of the Incarnation says we are each loved by God under all circumstances and that his presence compels us to see him at work in ourselves and in those around us. Instead of being isolated, we’re united by a strong bond that brings into community the human and the divine.
Adapted from With Hearts Full of Joy: Following Christ the Redeemer by Fr. Mathew J. Kessler and José Antonio Medina (Liguori Publications, © 2010).