Entering into the Christmas season should bring to mind the birth of Christ. Beyond the mass consumerism that has plagued our society is a reminder that God came down to be with us in the flesh so that we might become like him (2 Corinthians 5:21). God becoming flesh in Jesus Christ is called the “Incarnation.” Exiled Jews looked forward to this day in Isaiah 52:1-12. When the Word became flesh (John 1:14), God made his dwelling with us (Matt 1:22 echoing Isaiah 7:14). Take a moment to read First John 1:1-10. Because of Jesus coming in the flesh, we have fellowship with God. In this fellowship, we are given new life lived as a testimony to a world in need of the presence of God. We become the presence of God to the world. For the month of December, I want to focus on what it means to be the incarnation today as we focus on the incarnation of God in the birth of Jesus Christ.
To prepare for this Sunday, I’m providing some passages for you to reflect on:
- What does it mean for Jesus to be the image of the invisible God?
- What does it mean for us to be the body of Christ in respect to Christ being the image of God?
- In what ways can Queen City Church be the incarnation of God here in NoDa?
- What does it mean that Jesus became like us in every way?
- What is your emotional response to 2:11? Jesus calls us brothers and sister. How does this shape our identity as a Family?
- 2:15 – What does it mean to be free from being “held in slavery by their fear of death”?
- What does it mean that Jesus did not leave us as orphans?
- Take a moment to meditate and focus on 14:20 – “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – What kind of relationship do we have with the Father, the Son, and with the Holy Spirit? How should this give you confidence to live the presence of Christ in this world?
- We’ve been given Christ’s peace (14:27). How does that speak to the chaos that comes up in life? What does it say to the pain and turmoil of this life? How is that a witness of the presence of God?
Paul looks to the incarnation as a model for how we should live our lives in relationship to one another. In Philippians 2:1-11, we’re called to have the same mindset of Christ in our attitudes towards one another. This is a mindset that is shaped by the experience of sacrificial living. You cannot just change your thinking. This mindset is developed through action. The church becomes the place where we develop the mindset of Christ so we can be the incarnation of Christ to a broken world in need of God’s presence. My prayer for us is that we become the embodiment of Isaiah 52:7 where people see us as beautiful because our lives are lived in the reality of the Good News we possess, we are people of peace, bringing good tidings, and proclaiming salvation.