EMERGING VALUES ~ INCARNATIONAL LIVING
As Christians we incarnate the living indwelling Christ. In the West, that has mean usually that Jesus inhabits the “burbs,” thereby forasking the cities, and in particular the downtown core. To be honest it is not an easy thing to latch unto people and places that are different than ourselves, and in many ways more desperate and in great need of love and compassion. People don’t need our pity. They need authentic connection and compassion. If the world is our mission field (missio Dei), then should we not live amongst those to whom we are called?
The easiest way to begin to discover the vastness of the depth of what it means to live incarnationally, is to begin by going out to those in obvious need, and becoming their friends in authentic connection, and dialoging and discovering who they are and what their own story, their own journey has been. We will be surprised by the grace moments in their stories, and we will realize that God is in the midst of them, and that we have to offer is not much, other than making ourselves available to them. We may initially think it is we ourselves who have something to teach, something to give, but when we open ourselves up to this kind of living, we find that it is ourselves who are being taught, who are being accepted, who are being loved. That is God’s way.
God is leading His body to engage with those that are dear to His heart. For some that will mean becoming flesh and blood and moving in the neighbourhood, just as Jesus took upon Himself flesh and blood, and took the form of a man, and dwelt among us. He became one of us and understood us and all the pains and struggles we endure.
Wherever you are, in the burbs, or the country, or the inner city, you can incarnate Christ and the Kingdom, by willingly being flesh and blood and engaging with the people that live where you live. Embracing these people, and their lives, will bring about a release of the Kingdom of God as you simply live out Christ in the midst of them.