Week 2 Day 2: The Word Was Made Flesh


“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14

The Word Was Made Flesh
In Jesus, God took on the totality of our humanity, which means that he was just like us in every way. He had the same emotions that we have. He knew pain. He knew anger. He knew anxiety, and he needed human affection as we do.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram



Transcript:

During the first week we have been looking and praying, thinking about how much God loves each one of us. During this second week we are looking at the way in which, as it were, God broke all the bounds of generosity when he sent Jesus into the world as a man: the Incarnation, this great gift of God. There’s probably nowhere in scripture which proclaims with such magnificence this wonderful, generous gift of God out of his enormous love for us than the beginning of Saint John’s gospel.

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” The Word became flesh. John doesn’t say the Word became a man or a body. He uses a quite startling and almost shocking word: flesh, the Greek word sarx, to say without any doubt that in Jesus, God became flesh and blood just like us. In Jesus, God took on the totality of our humanity, which means that he was just like us in every way. He was shaped by a family like us. He grew and had to learn. Luke tells us that he grew in stature and in wisdom. He had the same emotions that we have. He knew pain. He knew anger. He knew anxiety, and he needed human affection as we do.

For me, this is incredibly important, the fact that he experienced everything that I experience. He knows how I feel and he knows my deepest thoughts, my deepest fears, my deepest hopes. It tells me, and this is so important for my life, that there is no part of my life which I cannot bring to Jesus in prayer. I think when I was first a Christian my prayers were probably very pious. I used to pray about the sort of things I thought God wanted to hear. I think I censored an awful lot. As I’ve grown in the Christian faith, as I’ve come to understand this deep mystery of the Incarnation, that God loves me so much that God longs for me to bring every part of myself to God in prayer, even the parts that I’m not particularly proud of or that I don’t like to actually think about myself. God says “Bring them to the surface. Bring them to the light, into my presence, and allow me to transfigure and redeem everything that you are. That is how much I love you.”

So perhaps some questions we might ask today are “How honest am I in my prayers?”, and then secondly to perhaps hear God’s invitation to bring the deepest parts of our humanity up into God’s searching love, that we might be healed and redeemed and set free. That is how much God loves us.

We invite you to share your reflection here >

37 Comments

  1. Dorothy Wilson on 03/18/2018 at 7:15 am

    I want to thank you God for making Jesus human , Jesus , I know you are walking with me ,when I experience fear , anger, pain, anxiety, despair , my joys. You have search me & know who I am. I know I can come to you & tell you about everything that is happening in my life.



  2. William Greenidge on 03/07/2018 at 12:43 am

    I’m so grateful that God sent His Son to image His likeness for us to see in our minds and hearts how we should live in order to please God. .



    • Deborah on 03/20/2018 at 6:51 pm

      Again I see the NESS of God in me with the word LIKE He is a mystery to us We find it hard to bring the holiness of God to our NESS because we fail to see God’s LIKENESS in the story of the WORD becoming FLESH. Collossian’s tell us we have a HOPE …Christ in Us the HOPE of Glory …It is a mystery and the more we get an idea of God becoming Flesh through Jesus and discover this then there is a hope and understanding to this mystery and when that discovery happens we become the gospel and we testify to this mystery and hope and in it we glorify God through Jesus and that pleases the Godhead and the Holy Spirit is our match maker continually wooing us to seek and understand and discover. Then the GOD News is perpetuated and becomes the Kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ…



  3. Mary Anderson on 03/02/2018 at 12:03 am

    “How honest am I in my prayers?” This is a powerful question to reflect on. I pray for forgiveness of my sins when I realize I have committed a sin at that moment. Often though in the hectic world we live in full of distractions, it is easy to move and not think about my actions in that way. At the end of the day, when I reflect on my actions for the day and give thanks to God for all he has done in my life, I tend to forget the sins that I have committed. I don’t forget that I have sinned particularly, but I forget the individual sins.
    Dear Lord, please forgive me for my sins; guide me in all I do; give me a clearer sense of my sins so that I have a clearer vision of how to not sin; help me to ask for forgiveness; open my eyes to your light and your way and remind me that you love me unconditionally. Amen.



  4. Jaan Sass on 03/01/2018 at 12:14 am

    reading all replies has been a devotion in itself I have been blessed reading them. i have at times hid stuff from God I know intellectually he already knows but emotionally at times I am ashamed of my misdeeds. He is always there to carry me in my brokenness.



  5. Mary on 02/23/2018 at 11:12 pm

    In addition to the authentic responses everyone writes, my heart is warmed by all the scripture quotes and hymns I read that people post in this study. It makes me feel like I am with “my people” even though I can’t see you all. Hugs!
    I think I am honest in my prayers. I have no problem being totally open with God about everything. I ask God that if I am not being open, he would show me how to be. My very best time of the day is in the morning, and I reserve my best for him. I always start each morning by thanking him for the day, for life. I find a prayer journal helps me focus.



  6. David John Drew on 02/22/2018 at 9:23 am

    O God, for ages past you remained a mystery to many who contemplated your existence, some were privileged to glimpse your glory in passing, or speak to you directly, our ancestors witnessed your miracles and marvelous works of wonder in the world, we perceived your finger-prints in the beautiful manifestations of your mind in the creation and nature all around and even within us – layer upon layer of details and complexities that could only come from one with an infinite and unfathomable intelligence. Yet still there remained a chasm of difference between you and us, your infinite and abstract nature contrasted with our fleshly mortality was so great… you remained as distant and unapproachable as a mountain peak. But, in your gracious mercy you condescended to descend from the heavens and appear to us in human form… that we could see, touch, and hear your voice – face to face. You did this to reconcile us back to yourself, our origin – and in doing so made the decision to suffer as we have, to express your solidarity through love.

    Lord Jesus, help me to understand, to comprehend the Divinity revealed, exposed and woven into your human form.

    I see in your eyes a vast landscape encompassing all ages, past, present and future, unnamed galaxies unknown to the human mind, the birth of stars, the beginning and the end, the sun and moon, endless space filled with life, oceans of unlimited love – all that a person could desire and more… one glimpse of your eyes becomes an end to all my doubts, fears and questions.

    ‘My Lord and my God!’

    I pray for all those who lack your presence in their lives – O Lord reach out and touch their hearts that they too may have an eternal life of bliss in your presence.

    + Amen

    Pax Christi – David



    • Michelle on 03/04/2018 at 1:19 am

      These words are so beautiful and open within me the places I have felt closed off from God. How could God be interested in my minuscule concerns when there are real problems in the world? So I would only lay bare the big and sorrowful and dire and profound in prayer. I had forgotten what it was to be in love and to want to know everything about the beloved. I had forgotten who I am in this relationship with God and who God wants to be in my life. These beautiful words, Br. Geoffrey and those of my fellow companions and readers remind me of my right relationship with God. I am beloved.



  7. Margaret on 02/22/2018 at 5:36 am

    I am thankful to the prophets who showed me that it’s even OK to be angry at God. In my latest difficulties, I expect that through my meditation, or even my not so meditative angry pout, God does not condemn me. He helps me to sort out the Holy anger that affirms my right to exist and have feelings as part of my wholeness, and let go of the stuff that is inconsequential.



  8. kevin on 02/21/2018 at 5:34 am

    God does want us to honor him give thanks, reverence to Him not to forget who He is .but i believe He wants us too come to Him with little things, joyous things curious things not only troublesome things or needs . isn’t it wonderful feeling when a little child your child is inuistive



  9. Meg on 02/21/2018 at 4:33 am

    How comforting to be assured that there is nothing about me that is beyond God’s healing power, unconditional love, and Grace. I guess that’s why I talk directly to God, thru Jesus, off and on all day long. As needs, prayer requests from our prayer chain and my own thanksgivings arise, my plain talk prayers are offered, sometimes aloud, sometimes in thoughts. This practice seems to keep me open to hearing His pushes to action that might meet another’s need. It feels like a two-way radio, informal and always turned on.
    All of their lives, I have told our children, “There is nothing you can do that will ever make me stop loving you.” That is the human version of God’s love for us all.



  10. Anita on 02/21/2018 at 1:02 am

    How honest am I? I don’t try and hide. My life is what it is. Thankfully, god loves me as I am. But have I really offered it to him so that I feel his love in my innermost depths – so that I know his love in my extremities…….probably not. I do so yearn for this understanding.



  11. James on 02/20/2018 at 9:32 pm

    That God could love us enough to send His Son to dwell among us in the same way that we feel emotions, eat, sleep, breath, and love is beyond my comprehension. I can only begin to understand when I think of how an earthly Father loves their child and wants only the best for them. But even in that case, an earthly Father would never have deliberately delivered their beloved child into such a dangerous and injurious set of events as befell Jesus. Yet, even out of the of the most horrific situations God delivers us and creates goodness where only evil previously existed. It’s an incredible comfort and solace to know that when I petition Jesus He knows where I’m coming from. He felt pain, betrayal, and hatred more than any of us can imagine and yet waits patiently for us to share our fears with Him so that He may comfort us and heal us as God comforted Himself. Today I pray that I may have the courage to be honest with God in my prayers. Praise The Lord!



  12. Cass on 02/20/2018 at 9:23 pm

    I have always thought that self-awareness was a sort of obligation to God, even though I tend to be pretty cynical about much of the “self-help” literature out there. Today’s lesson helps me see it a little differently, esp. in that we are called to give all of ourselves to God, not just the enlightened or good parts. There is a great deal of pride in the middle of this, for me. The urge to “get it right” is so strong; the fear of being vulnerable or wrong, equally so. God’s love, and Jesus’ example, remove that wall of prideful self-judgment…but even yet, I find myself always there, trying to get it “right,” as if grace depended on it. Even here and now. : – )



  13. Stan on 02/20/2018 at 8:06 am

    I must replay this quote from today’s lesson … :
    “As I’ve grown in the Christian faith, as I’ve come to understand this deep mystery of the Incarnation, that God loves me so much that God longs for me to bring every part of myself to God in prayer, even the parts that I’m not particularly proud of or that I don’t like to actually think about myself. God says “Bring them to the surface. Bring them to the light, into my presence, and allow me to transfigure and redeem everything that you are. That is how much I love you.”
    That thought, Brother Geoffrey, is revolutionary. A true life changer. God has blessed you with uncommon vision. And your vision has opened my eyes.



    • John on 02/28/2018 at 7:09 pm

      I agree with you, Stan…this particular “challenge” stopped me in my tracks. Bless us all in our journey.



  14. Ruth West on 02/20/2018 at 6:24 am

    Thank you, dear Brother, for this super-good homily. The Gospel of John is one of my favorites of all the books of the Bible. Last year my Bible Study Group studied it, using a study guide by N. T. Wright.
    Yet, I feel I need to read it once more, so that is one of my Lenten rules. I began it today.
    I so enjoy all the comments by your readers. God’s blessings on each one of them. And especially on you at the monastery who provide us fresh insight each day.



  15. Nicki on 02/20/2018 at 3:44 am

    My focused prayer is at night, in the dark and mostly intercessory. Intimacy with God is something you really know and it’s something I want, so I will chose a phrase of your offering at a time to meditate on and pray with so as to give my prayer more depth and time. This thoughtful homily is a great gift. Thank you Brother Geoffrey



  16. James Rowland on 02/20/2018 at 2:33 am

    How honest am I in my prayer? I have never considered that before. I think that my dishonesty will be apparent to God and I will know my dishonesty soon enough. Secondly, invitation from God through prayer. My prayer practice is a daily Lectio Divina alone and one Lectio session with a group weekly. Just finished Psalms and now entering Revelation. Keep a journal. All kinds of things happen in this wild and sometimes even crazy dialog. I never knew prayer could be so wonderfully entertaining and just plain joyful!



  17. John Kearley on 02/19/2018 at 11:46 pm

    I am enjoying this series very much. Thanks for sharing these presentations.



  18. Richard Dixon on 02/19/2018 at 11:40 pm

    I will sit quietly with Him who bids us ‘be still and know that I am God!”



  19. Mary 85 on 02/19/2018 at 11:37 pm

    Overwhelmed with wonder and thankfulness for Jesus, God’s Gift of God’s Self in Declaration of Love for us.



  20. Sylvia Wallace on 02/19/2018 at 11:19 pm

    Praying for me is not ritualized for morning and night. I pray those times, but, I pray ALL during the day. I TALK with God about everthing and I confess my daily sins. It took me years to understand that praying and talking were the same, FOR ME. I KNOW He listens and hears my prayers; and I KNOW Jesus came into the world to forgive my sins and take the guilt away. I know this because my heart is light and there is no rapid beating in my head.
    I sin everyday – by thought, word, or deed. I confess those sins – the unkind thought, selfish word, the gossiping, anything that I believe I might have done to displease Him, Today – so I talk with Him about it, knowing and believing that I am forgiven.
    God gave us the Word through Jesus who came as light to spread love. I keep praying that we ALL begin to understand just that one detail of what He did (for everyone) and what He gives us daily.



  21. Beverly on 02/19/2018 at 10:56 pm

    “…that we might be healed and redeemed and set free.” I can’t think of a more compelling reason to open oneself completely in prayer.



  22. Lucy Kuemmerle on 02/19/2018 at 9:20 pm

    “…became flesh and lived among us.” Then my prayer life can have the intimacy I might have with partner or friends, from the heart and unguarded. I used to think, as others have said, that I had to be well-behaved in prayer! “…Lived among us.” But I do not confuse Jesus with friends. I am asking that I might dwell in him and he in us. This series is underscoring so much of both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus for me. Thank you.



  23. Debbie Deppe on 02/19/2018 at 8:01 pm

    I find that I am honest in praying for others but rarely pray for myself. I guess that means I’m hiding from God. Need to work on including myself on that prayer list.



  24. Marjorie Fawcett on 02/19/2018 at 7:37 pm

    I learned this not so long ago. To put ALL your cares on the table before the Lord in prayer and he does take them and give you peace. Thanks be to God for all His caring, generous, unconditional love for us!



  25. Jennifer on 02/19/2018 at 7:34 pm

    I trust God enough to confess all my sin to Him knowing that He already knows all, My confession of sin is really just agreeing with Him that what He (through the Holy Spirit) convicts in me as sin is sin. “If we say we have no sin we are making God a liar, if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” I pray I will not “harden my heart” so I will be sensitive when the Holy SpIrit convicts me of sin in “my thoughts words and deeds, in the things I have done and the things I have left undone”. When I have hurt a loved one, apologized, and am forgiven I feel peaceful and happy we no longer have that wall of hurt separating us and our relationship is healed. I feel the same way about confessing my sin to God, being healed, redeemed by God, and set free to have (with God’s help) the power to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”.



    • Bishop Hollywood on 02/19/2018 at 10:31 pm

      Isn’t it wonderful to know we serve a God that loves us so much, that he became flesh like us, experienced what we experience on every level, all to show us how much he loves us and is willing to help us cause he knows what we are going through.



  26. Bryan Cook on 02/19/2018 at 6:58 pm

    “There is no part of my life which I cannot bring to Jesus in prayer”….. “Bring them to the surface. Bring them to the light, into my presence, and allow me to transfigure and redeem everything that you are. That is how much I love you.”
    The opportunities offered in these lines have brought me great comfort, self- awareness and hope particularly over the last decade. I used to rationalize that prayer was a form of structured therapy….throwing my concerns and fears against a metaphorical brick-wall in my mind to draw them out of me, to face my fears and then to try to pick them up with a positive attitude to find a better path forward. On reflection, this process was very egocentric. The brick- wall is now the Holy Trinity, which is totally transparent, receptive, transfiguring and redeeming…..Let Go and Let God! Thanks Brother Tristram.



    • Jennifer on 02/19/2018 at 7:35 pm

      Amen



  27. Lucy on 02/19/2018 at 6:08 pm

    To think that in all my many years of reading Scripture I have never thought of Jesus as ever feeling anxiety or the need for human affection. This is a revelation that helps me deeply. Thank you, Brother Geoffrey, for your insight. And thank you, God, for the gift of all the Brothers.



  28. JoAnn Bach on 02/19/2018 at 6:07 pm

    WOW! The last two paragraphs hit home for me. Censoring prayers, guilty of some politically correct conversations with God. He did not abandon me instead answered in a way I was puzzled. What a revelation. Thank you



  29. Susan on 02/19/2018 at 5:51 pm

    Lord, Jesus, you do understand me. Help me bring all of my brokenness to you so that I can be healed.



  30. Susan Marengo on 02/19/2018 at 5:04 pm

    For me the more I can relate to Jesus through experience’s and feelings the closer I feel to him and my faith grows. When I heard “Jesus wept” I knew he understood my grief.



  31. John David Spangler on 02/19/2018 at 4:03 pm

    What more can be said? Brother Tristram has said it all. John sets out the basis for being a Christian and the meaning of Christianity. Brother Tristram shows us how we must use it to be healed, redeemed, and set free. As always, I thank Brother Tristram and all the Brothers for their insights that help all of us on our journey.



  32. Keith Aldred on 02/19/2018 at 3:14 pm

    May we bring to God all our concerns, knowing that he does care and will show us the way forward.