This is Campbelltown. As you whoosh past it on a train, you will see this sign on the platform. If you’re like me, you’ll mentally tick it off on the list of stops to your destination. It isn’t much. It’s a word. Nothing more, nothing less. Truth be told, before I lived up here, I had no idea where Campbelltown was. I contentedly lived in my shell in the Illawarra and enjoyed it there. Campbelltown was nothing but something on the weather radar on the news – a place much hotter or colder than Wollongong at all times. But it definitely wasn’t anything more than a word.
Then, I moved here and Campbelltown stopped being just a word to me. I went from looking at the sign as I whooshed past, to seeing it with whole new eyes because it was more to me after that. It was a real place. It was tangible, touchable, smellable (unfortunately, at times) and visible.
In the space of a day, Campbelltown went from a word – to flesh. At least in my mind it did. It went from the sign, to this…
Flesh is a lot different to word. You can interact with it in so many different ways. One of my debatably bad habits is not wearing shoes. Campbelltown train station? Not so nice on the feet. But the day I took this photo, I spoke to a man on the way back to the army after some time of leave. He was nervous, because he knew he would miss his family. He didn’t quite know what he was going back to. Small interactions like this make the flesh of Campbelltown something amazing. It is no longer merely a word to me. It is tangible, touchable and right now I call it home.
The Word became flesh, John tells us in his Gospel, and I think maybe this is part of what he is getting at. Jesus is God, but he walked among us and through him we saw the glory of the Father. God went from the Word, to a tangible, touchable person. Flesh. He walked among us. He laughed, he cried, he spoke, he listened. This is what strikes me about the incarnation the most. That Jesus is the image of the invisible God.
The Word became flesh, and like Campbelltown used to only be a word to me but is something entirely new now, we are now able to relate to God in a whole new way because the Word became flesh.