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This week’s note from Rev. Bill

ESPAÑOL, AND INCARNATIONAL THEOLOGY

This past week at our Spanish class (Tuesday morning, 10:00) one of the group told of her experience in helping with Yesukan. She had volunteered to help people learn English, and she mentioned that she was taking a Spanish class here at the church. 

One of the students was amazed – “Why are you trying to learn Spanish?” 

She replied, “Because we want to be able to speak with our neighbors in their own language.”

It hit me at that moment that what we are doing is INCARNATIONAL THEOLOGY! We have Jesus as our guide!

God was not content to sit up in heaven and wait for us to come to Him – God chose to come down to earth to be WITH US in person!

Jesus became INCARNATE – flesh and bone, human, one of us – to connect with us and to be one of us. It wasn’t a case of “Get yourself right, and then I’ll let you be with Me”; it was a case of “I love you so much that I will do whatever it takes, pay whatever it costs, to be with you”!

This attitude of Jesus is counter-cultural. The world’s attitude is that the weak must bend to the strong; the powerful get to set the rules; the minority must submit to the majority. But our God is different – our God cares for the “weak and heavy-laden” (Matt. 11:28), those who have run away (Luke 15), the “bruised reed” and “dimly-burning wick” (Isaiah 42:3). Our God even washes feet!

We serve a God who believes that being with another person, sitting with them at their deepest level of vulnerability, is the most worthwhile thing that can be done. True greatness is seen by how many people you love and serve, not by how many you can get to serve you. Rather than force us to bow down and worship Him, God came to us in the most vulnerable and humble way so that we would not be afraid, but rather trust Him. As the revered saint Charles de Foucauld found, “Jesus took the lowest place in such a way that no one has ever been able to take it away from him.”

When we, as disciples of Jesus, struggle to learn the language of a culture not our own, we are saying, “We love you so much that we want to get to know you at the deepest level. We will willingly put aside our strengths and advantages so that you will feel safe among us. We want to show you unconditional love.”

This is Incarnational Theology – not just talking about it, but actually embodying it. This is how Jesus lived, and this is how we can live, also. 

May Jesus speak His words through you, do His actions through you, and offer His hope through you. Amen. 

  • Rev. Bill
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