HEARTS AFLAME: THE INCARNATION OF GOD
The WORD Became Flesh
By CLAIRE LOWE
The WORD became flesh and made his dwelling among us. – John 1:14
On this Christmas Eve some 2000 years back, something was brewing in the cosmos. The Infinite WORD was about to become … flesh.
The word flesh (σάρξ; sarx) describes the condition of human existence and the nature of the relation between the living being and the world. It denotes how being is dependent on the created order, for example, how human life is dependent on air and the specific composition of gases. Life on earth is subject to certain conditions and has its limitations.
And yet, Jesus, who being in the very nature God, limitless as Spirit, and eternal, on a quiet night, emptied Himself of His infinite and glorious nature, and became human, finite, and mortal. From One who is beyond any physical laws, He took the form of one who is subjected to the laws of the world – like a servant.
The WORD became flesh.
This is the model of incarnational mission, and we are called to incarnational mission. To be like the weak, so as to win the weak; to be like one under the law, so as to win those under the law; to be like one not having the law, so as to win those not having the law (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).
Are we willing to give up the glories of a Christian status? Would we be willing to subject ourselves to the laws of social and cultural customs of others, in order to reach out to them?
Jesus did. He came as a Jew and was identified specifically as a Galilean (a ‘Northerner’ which carried derogatory connotations). He spoke the Galilean dialect, Aramaic. He learnt the skill and trade of carpentry. He participated in Jewish customs and was embedded in the Jewish way of life. He followed the traditions of the synagogue, attended the annual festivals, observed the customary pilgrimages. Jesus incarnated Himself into the Jewish world of His day. Jesus did not come to ‘start a new religion’; He came to transform an old way of life, to bring Kingdom values into the Jewish way of life.
As we ponder on the meaning of Christmas this beautifully, quiet and sacred Christmas Eve, let us be still before our GOD, The Infinite WORD, and marvel in the mystery of the Incarnation. Let us also pray for courage and ask the Spirit of our Lord Jesus to teach us how to be like Him?
“Lord, teach me how to be like ___ (the one/s we love), so as to win ___ .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
CLAIRE LOWE is a research and training associate with SCGM, focusing on contextualised missiologies. She also serves with Asia2021 Congress and WEA Mission Commission.
SCGM 40TH ANNIVERSARY DEVOTIONAL CAMPAIGN
40 FRiends of SCGM have been invited to take part in our 40-Day Devotional Project to help raise funds for SCGM’s 40th Anniversary. Each day starting 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, SCGM will publish one devotion written by our 40 FRiends in our FundRaising effort and celebration of God’s goodness and provision over the last 40 years!
Through their devotional reflections, we pray that our FRiends of SCGM40 will bless and encourage many to reflect upon God’s Presence, Protection, Provision, Purification and Power in Missions.