John 1:14 (1-14)
The Word became flesh and made his home among us. We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
Incarnation…when it comes to pastoral excellence, there may be no more important word. One of the most powerful claims of John’s Gospel is that God’s life-giving Word has become tangible, palpable, embodied in Jesus Christ. It is more than a theological concept. It is the nitty-gritty of Christianity. God got down here with us!
My ten year old daughter likes to do her homework sitting on the floor. She is petite and agile; it is no problem for her to flop down and bounce right up. Occasionally, she asks Dad to help her with math. Now, I could demand that she bring the book to me, set it on the desk or carry it over to a table. But, she works best sitting on the floor.
I am not petite. Increasingly, I am not agile. But, I love her and want to offer her the help she needs in the way that will be most effective for her. So, I ease out of my chair, down onto the floor, eye-level with the fourth grader. I think of it as incarnational homework help. I get down there with her.
Christians are called to be pastoral. It’s part of the priesthood of all believers. If we follow the witness of the Gospel of John, the best way to share the saving news of God’s grace is to do what God did. We are called to get down where the good news is needed, in the way it is needed.
Share the gospel, share yourself, genuinely and indigenously. Congregations, ministers, Christians – all are called to be pastoral. Our pastoral presence will be excellent insofar as we submit to being incarnational vessels of Word of God.
Gracious God, you came to us as one of us to save us. Grant us the humility to follow your lead, to embody your love where it is needed, in the way it is needed, after the example of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. AMEN.
The Rev. Bryan Brooks
Chairperson Board of Ordained Ministry, Tennessee Conference