i've been wrestling with the idea of the incarnation through the lens of where we have been placed. by that i mean, we believe in a God Who knit us together, Who authors, directs, and transforms our lives. In His sovereignty, I was born in a specific place instead of another. i grew up in a place and moved to another under the direction of His will, as were we all. this is what we can label a theology of presence. that the One Who made me also placed me, and also continues to invite me to leave evidence of Jesus in me where i am.
there is a whole side conversation here about how we are not robots who are simply directed around a flat world with no say in our steps. that is for another time.
this is about understanding that God enables and equips us to interact with the world around us...specifically and purposefully. He has made us in flesh and bone and spirit to be present where we are. before you check out because this sounds like the freshman philosophy course that you took, bear with me for just a bit longer.
i want to encourage those who know that Jesus is alive in them (therefore, through the Holy Spirit, is incarnate in you), but I would invite those who are still questioning what that relationship and presence is...
where are you right now? Do you believe that God can have an impact there...that the incarnate Spirit of the risen Christ that chooses to reside (not exclusively) in the hearts of human beings can affect the world that is immediately around you? i think we underestimate the power of Jesus in us to ridiculous levels. i think those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus often forget that He is with us...where we are, with the people that we are with, in the situations that we are in. that is a pretty big misconception, don't you think?
you may have heard someone say, 'what would you do if Jesus walked in right now?' that is never something that a believer should ask. He is there, He is present, He is powerful, He is purposeful.
let me encourage you, as you examine yourself during this season of lent, to develop this theology of presence. ask yourself what Jesus might be up to right where you are. ask what he is calling you to be up to. enter the beautiful adventure of having the Lord and Savior of the universe present where you are.
blessings on you all.
i will write some more about this over the next few days (i'll be preaching about this using Luke 9 and 1 Kings 17 this sunday www.knoxchurchbuffalo.com streams it live saturday at 6:30 and sunday at 10:50 and the same site gets you the archives of our messages)