The primary way that the New Testament talks about the flesh is where the “flesh” represents the sinful pull in all of us. The lust of the flesh, the works of the flesh, the flesh as enemy of the Spirit is most definitely not what we should embrace.
But “flesh” in those respects is not referring to the matter, not the muscles and nerves and blood and bones, which is also the flesh. The physical flesh is the flesh that Jesus took at (what we celebrate as) Christmas. Though He shared our weaknesses and faced temptations as a man, He did so yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). If God created that flesh and also clothed Himself with it, it can’t be all bad.
The incarnation shows that the flesh is not God. God, in the Word who was God before creation, existed without one. So we worship the Maker not the material. God is outside, before and beyond, human flesh. Christmas truth should keep us from worshipping our bodies, let alone stuff.
The incarnation also shows that God identifies with human flesh. God, in the Word, became like us. “Since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself partook of the same things” (Hebrew 2:14). He took on our form, with the physical limits and needs and in every other respect. Christmas truth means that we don’t have to escape the flesh to please God.
As people of the truth we tend to prefer two-dimensions; three-dimensions are hard. We want our Word on a page, not in a body. Too often we have great Christmas ideas without glad sacrifices and generosity and being worn out and used up to spill grace onto others.
In your body love, be joyful, be patient, show kindness, do good, be self-controlled. Decorate, bake, clean, sing, give, cry, so that the life of Jesus may be manifest in your body (2 Corinthians 4:11), just as He was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Let our celebrations not be spiritualized, but let us be filled with the Spirit to keep Christmas in our flesh.