Have you ever stopped to think about the amazing power of God becoming human? That in Jesus, we have 100% God + 100% Man bundled together into one person? That is truly an incredible mystery!
Generally we only teach on this at Christmas, which thus means that the excitement of lots of guests, alongside the festival itself, results in us not digging in deeply to the wonder of the incarnation itself. So when this topic came up on the preaching schedule in March, I saw this as an opportunity to try something a little different.
In trying to communicate creatively, my friend and colleague Gary DeSantis and I came up with the following film. To be honest, Gary did all the hard work – I just burbled away into a microphone for 10 minutes! The film is coupled with a follow-up 10 minutes of teaching to further apply the incarnation (in the areas of community, mission and worship). Please take and use as you see fit!
Finally, I found two very different books (aside from the Bible!) to be helpful as I prepared.
Athanasius was one of the heros of the Early Church. An incredibly gifted theologian, he was a prominent leader and thinker in the church in the 300s, in the midst of some of the great debates about the identity and nature of Christ. His book On The Incarnation is a fantastic read – short (around 60 pages), pithy, but very clearly argued. You can pick up copies for 99¢ online – just make sure that it is a fairly recent translation, so that you aren’t fighting through terribly old-fashioned English!
Hugh Halter is a friend of mine and an outstanding practitioner and thinker in the missional movement. He has written a brand new book, Flesh, that looks at the incarnation through this lens. He gives tons of fabulous stories and practical insights into living a life empowered by the God who became One Of us, and who fully understands the human condition – its strengths and its flaws. You can pick up copies of this book online and in stores – and Hugh’s English is definitely not old-fashioned!
How well do you live in the power of the incarnation – in community, mission and worship?
- To read another perspective on this topic (How to Become a Missionary) please click here
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