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Incarnating Christ

December 23, 2005

During this Christmas season, I’ve been thinking about the incarnation of Christ, and more specifically, how I’m supposed to incarnate Christ. It’s easy for me to think about baby Jesus being born away in the manger and be thankful that He came to save me from my sins . . . and stop there. But there’s more.

I’ve been reading Paul David Tripp’s book, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change, and though I expected to get alot out of it, I didn’t expect that it would change the way I view Christmas and the incarnation, but it did. Tripp explains that although the incarnation was an event, we also need to understand that it is an agenda and a calling. This really caught my attention. Our lives as Christians needs to be shaped by the incarnation in a very practical, yet profound way. Tripp explains:

“God has called us to nothing less than incarnating Christ to others. I am to be rooted in the Word, and zealous to bring the living Word–Christ–to lost, blind, and struggling people. You and I are called to put flesh and blood on who Christ is and what he came to do.”

He explains in his book in much fuller detail that this agenda and calling for our lives of incarnating Christ shapes the way we interact with people. It’s much easier and “we would prefer to lob grenades of truth into people’s lives rather than lay down our lives for them.” How true that is in my own life. The call to love people in my life can be very difficult, but it’s still what I’m called to do. Not just tell them what they should do or shouldn’t do. I’m to incarnate Christ’s love and His character to those around me, Christian and non-Christian alike, which is an investment. I need to look for ways to “minister by entering into people’s struggles” by incarnating the “presence and character of Christ” in every situation.

Thinking about the incarnation this way has made me stop and think about my responses. So often I’m self-righteous. So often someone needs help but I don’t want to get involved so I don’t ask anymore questions. So often I’m harsh. So often I don’t incarnate Christ, but a caricature of Him. I hope the incarnation makes a difference in my actions this year, as I seek to become more like Christ.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2005 7:55 pm

    to incarnate Christ, for me, is to enter the chaos of another human being. it is only be doing so that we really do enflesh Jesus so that others may see and feel Him, love him more dearly and so follow Him more closely.

  2. December 24, 2005 10:22 am

    Excellent post, Danielle. I want to read that book now. My mom has often called my dad her “incarnation of Christ”. I call him “Jesus with skin on.” What a legacy, huh?

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