An Incarnationalist for 2008


incarnational.jpgThis is a time when many of us make new year’s resolutions, which we often break soon after the we’ve made them. For last couple of years I come before the Lord and together we perform a spiritual inventory or assessment analysis. The process involves calling myself into question regarding the spiritual, emotional, and physical dimensions of my relationship with God (vertical) and than other relationships (horizontal). How am I doing in these areas, and more important, how am I being? What is needed that will personally facilitate the Spirit’s on-going conforming process towards the image of God’s Son, Christ Jesus?

What has aided in this process has come by way of friend and fellow simple church traveler Craig Henningfield. He shared some thoughts during Advent regarding incarnation and The Incarnation, that I found quite captivating and helpful as I look forward into 2008.

The Incarnation causes me to pause for it speaks of the condescending nature of our God: “he came down from heaven.” So many, in my view, want a God who is larger, bigger, stronger, above it all. Yet, in The Incarnation, He comes to us! He enters into our world! He takes on the human form! He becomes the servant among us … living as we live … speaking as we speak … working as we work … laughing as we laugh … crying as we cry! In a specific place and time, God the Son empties himself, submitting himself to all things and everything human – being tested in every way as we are – even to death. Too many people still overlook this mystery of Grace; this God-coming to us as we are – and for our benefit!

He followed this thought with:

Now, as you enter into your remembering and celebration of Incarnation – commonly known as Christmas – become an “incarnationalist.” I’m not even sure if that is a word regularly used by Christ-followers, but it does seem to capture one aspect of our privilege in life today. Being an incarnationalist asks that we move from our understanding of Incarnation and beyond our agreement with incarnational living to the actual, everyday being with Christ and living along the relational contours He offers.

As I contemplated and meditated on these words, it seems clear that a good direction and focus for this new year is that I would learn to be an “incarnationalist” of Christ. To have a clearer understanding of the practicalities involved in following Jesus in this way. That I move far beyond rhetoric and mental accent and to a greater degree than in the past, practice a high level intentionality to this focus. As I do, I’m wondering, what my relational contours will look like in 2008? Will they be different than 2007? I suspect so.

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One Response

  1. Jared was here. Good stuff.

    Your link is broken. You forgot the “s” on the end before “.info”.

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