Sermon Series: The Incarnation
Imagine a playwright crafting the most beautiful drama ever witnessed. The scene is immaculate, the plot and setting are perfectly placed and his intended themes are woven throughout the performance. But there’s something different about this particular drama. The difference lies with the characters. In the play, the author has made the characters to be very much like him…so much so they are not merely described on the pages of a script, but they have come to life! The author’s masterpiece is unmatched in beauty and majesty.
But early on a significant problem develops in this drama…The characters rebel against their author. Instead of following his script for the performance, and being thankful and devoted to him, they decided to ignore his design and direction and become authors themselves! They acted as if they had always existed and as if they had no creator at all. They have ignored the author’s parameters and purposes and they are starting to resemble him less and less. The drama seems to be raveling out of control and losing all possibility of hope and reconciliation…
[Now as an aside, characters in a play can only know as much about the author as the author reveals of himself…so when a “Russian Cosmonaut returned from space and reported that he had not found God, C.S. Lewis responded that this was like Hamlet going into the attic of his castle looking for Shakespeare.” People sometimes view God this way…that they hope to find him, analyze him and file him away in a museum to prove that he exists…but God is not in our attic…but he has made himself known…in an unmistakably personal way…]
To the surprise of all the audience, the playwright does not scrap the play and destroy the rebellious characters, although he has every right to do so. He reveals himself to these rebellious, ungrateful characters…Now, as Christians, we believe that God has done more than just leave clues, or mere tidbits of information about himself for us all over the world (although he has clearly done that). God, the playwright, wrote himself into the play as the main character in history, when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem…in order to proclaim a rescue and to offer reconciliation and renewal. But even at this great display of mercy and love, many of the characters remain unconvinced that the author has come as one of them! Some are so strongly against the idea that they murder him! But in the mystery of the author’s knowledge, this too works to save and restore the rebellious characters back to their author.
And it is this divine drama that we will be considering this morning as we continue our series on the Incarnation…God becoming flesh to rescue sinners.
This analogy came from putting two illustrations together–one by a sermon I heard by Mike Bullmore and the other by Tim Keller in his new book “The Reason for God.”‘