This is my response to Tony Jones’ #progGOD challenge: Why an Incarnation? WARNING: This is a slightly dramatized version of the incarnation. It may not have happened exactly like this.
Circa 10 BC. God is looking down on Mount Olympus, at the motley crew of Greco-Roman gods, all busy arguing with each other, seducing humans, and generally giving gods a bad name.
“What is with this hyper-anthropomorphism?” God says to himself. “Why is it so damn hard to understand that I am not really a temper-tantrum-throwing-adolescent?”
Then God looks down at Rome and sees Caesar Augustus strutting around like a peacock and giving himself titles like “Son of God,” “Lord,” and “Savior of the World.”
“Holy Narcissus, Batman!” God says to himself. “This guy is a piece of work. I am going to serve him a slice of humble pie”
He points his finger down at Augustus, getting ready to do a Tim the Enchanter kind of thing.
Then he thinks it over for a minute.
“Although a little fire and smoke in his life is just what Caesar needs to realize his dependence on me, this might give my children the wrong impression. How can I show them that I am really the OPPOSITE of all this? How can I show my children that the REAL ‘Son of God’ doesn’t act like this?”
Then he glances over at Jerusalem. A bunch of grumpy Pharisees are busy pestering everyone about purity laws and generally missing the whole point of the Torah. Some Zealots are busy praying for the Messiah to come and kick some Roman butt.
“Oy Vey!” God says as he slaps his (very metaphorical) forehead. “I don’t understand how these guys twisted everything around so badly. But at least my Jewish children got the whole ONE GOD thing right. Maybe I can work with this a bit. Maybe I can show them what I really meant by the whole Messiah thing.”
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And so on the (very metaphorical) third day after the shortest, darkest day of the year, a light came into the world. He studied the Torah in 1st century Palestine, understood what God was REALLY trying to say, radically submitted his will to God’s will, and somehow, in some way we cannot possibly understand, he became the UNION of humanity and the Divine.
He showed us that God is self-sacrificing love and not an adolescent that throws tantrums.
He showed us that he was the real “Son of God,” “Lord,” and “Savior of the World” — not Caesar.
And he showed us the true nature of God in a way that we could finally comprehend, telling us very simply:
Nothing else matters