I must admit that I’ve been too busy of late to give much thought to this blog. Such creative energies as I have left at the end of the day have been given over to preparation for my lecture at Hereford Cathedral next week. I’ll also be taking a session at All Nations Christian College during the week, too.
While I was doing my preparation for Hereford, I reread an article that I had published online a couple of years back and in the absence of anything new and creative, I though I would draw you attention back to it.
Through the process of the incarnation, death and resurrection, God not only revealed his nature to his creation, but his self sacrifice made way for the humanity, creation and God to be reconciled. We know from the Scriptures that the Incarnation was an act of supreme humility: typified by a baby in a stable, a triumphant entry on a lowly donkey and ultimately a criminals death on the cross. God the Son demonstrated his greatness through humility, self-sacrifice and suffering rather than ostentatious demonstrations of authority. When he did work miracles, they were to help others – not to save himself.
Because of this, God’s mission through the incarnation was also a risky business. The baby Jesus risked his life at the hands of a homicidal ruler, he allowed himself to be tempted by the evil one and even at the climax of his suffering, Peter risked throwing the whole project off balance by taking up arms against the ervants of the high priest. God the Son not only made himself vulnerable to his creation, he also allowed his mission to be placed at risk through the actions of others. Quite simply, he did not come in power to compel people to believe but in meekness and gentleness to win their hearts.
And because God wants to win hearts rather than compel people to believe, the Christian project remains vulnerable. Whole people groups reject the Gospel for long periods of time and areas which were once solidly Christian turn their backs on the faith. The Gospel does not (or at least should not) hold on to people by economic and political force, but it demands a personal and community allegiance which can be, and sometimes is, withdrawn. (Read the whole article.)