It's from the Latin words in and carn (meaning flesh).
Incarnation is the act of taking on a human body. It's what God did for us at Christmas. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us," as St. John put it. (John 1:14)
When you want the job done right you have to do it yourself. God wanted us to know "the wonders of his love." God wanted to clear up any confusion about the heart of Divinity. And so God sent Jesus to embody God's essence, to make God's love visible.
What does God look like? God looks like Jesus.
How does God act? God acts like Jesus.
How does God love, forgive & inspire? Just like Jesus.
"Christ is the image of the invisible God," wrote St. Paul (Col. 1:15). So when you've seen Jesus you've seen God. And if God loves like Jesus, we're in good shape.
Prayer: Thank You, dear Jesus, for becoming a child of this world so that we might learn how to live as citizens of the world to come. Amen.
Tony Campolo's "The Ant-Man"
Imagine for a moment that you are a scientist and you study ants. This may be a little hard to imagine, but give it a try. You are the world's foremost authority on ants. And you have come to love ants very, very much. In fact, you've created a beautiful ant farm for many of them to live. It's a wonderful world with everything they need - crumbs, sandwiches, picnic baskets, etc. But one day you look down at the world you've created and you notice that your ants are not living up to their potential. They're fighting. They're not working together. They need help! So you send them little messages with suggestions & guidelines for them. You even inspire certain ants to be prophets, teachers, & role models for the others. But they're still not getting it.
Now consider this, if you had supernatural powers what would be the best way for you to get your message across to the ants? That's right! You could become an ant! You could take on the body of ant, and yet you would still have all your human knowledge and intelligence to help them. You would be the Ant- Man! Fully Human-Fully Ant. Then you could really teach them and show them personally, face-to-face how to really live.
God did this for us in Jesus. He became one of us. The God-Man! Fully Human-Fully God! Two distinct natures united in one person. He did this to show us how to live. And to tell us how much we are loved - "As the Father loves me, so I love you" (John 15:9). Divinity has been revealed - "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father," says Jesus (John 14:9). Thank God.