I hug or kiss my wife not just to show her that I love her, but to actually love her! The act is not a mere representation but a true expression. The Incarnation is not only a demonstration of God’s love for the world it is God’s means of actually and actively loving the world! Through the Incarnation we learn that love does not come in theory or prophecy or poetry, but it comes most powerfully embodied.
The anointed Christ comes in flesh. The angels announce Good News, “which shall be to all people…” The incarnate 2nd person of the Trinity declares the purpose of Incarnation. “The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” God does this in person! God shows up in the flesh, in order to love us!
Incarnation remains as the authentic ‘gold standard’ of love. Incarnation remains the truest way to effectively proclaim the love of God to the world.
Several years ago, I had the joy of leading a college dedicated to the formation of evangelists. I believed then as I believe now that the Good News must be embodied in order to be well proclaimed. I purposed that we would ‘form’ our evangelist, amid, and in the company of the urban poor. By dwelling with the folks of the inner-city our evangelists learned compassion and the power of incarnation.
If the world could be won by information alone, we would surely drop leaflets from the sky. If people were saved by baptism, we would surely hire water bombers to deluge the masses. But the Good News comes to the world through incarnation and it is our task to inhabit and indwell this world so that God’s love is evidenced in this convincing fashion.
I am thrilled that Threshold Ministries has a new project, tentatively titled “Indwell”. This is an internship project allowing people to live with (dwell with) the urban poor and to engage in ministry alongside veteran missioners. This project takes seriously the message of Christmas as it seeks to equip and loose a new generation of evangelists. Please keep this project in your prayers.
As I write this, I will soon be off to ready things for our Christmas Dinner Party. We will be hosting folks from our wider community for a Turkey and all the trimmings dinner. A local youth basketball team, their coaches and parents will be preparing and serving the meal. The tables and atmosphere will be decorated for the occasion. We had so many volunteers that we decided to add a breakfast tomorrow morning put on by yet another team. It is our prayer that as we continue to dwell with the folks of our community that they will recognize and respond to the ‘Great Good News’ the good news of Love come down at Christmas.