Imagine you're walking through a big city and you see a homeless person. You have several options.
Ministry is incarnationally specific. Pastors are called to see their place and people with God's "lover's eye," and to love them for their particularity.
The story goes that God got a body. I’ve often pondered the relationship between incarnation and pain.
In the 12th century, a Benedictine nun had a vision of Jesus’ humanity. It couldn’t have happened on a better night.
The other day, a small group from my church joined others from our neighborhood in a march on Chicago's north side. As we swarmed the streets, temporarily shutting down traffic, I noticed a woman in a car. Some motorists were exasperated, trying to turn around or just glowering at us. Others were supportive, honking their horns to the rhythm of "Siyahamba" as we sang. But this woman did nothing but sit there, parked in the middle of the procession, and wipe tears from her eyes. With visible emotion, she registered shock at this small but mighty band of the faithful marching with a processional cross at our head, proclaiming that black lives matter. While the crowd's emotion was jubilant and righteous, I couldn't help but feel sad.
What is it called when we complete a sermon, art, poetry, song or writing, and there is a bit of our soul that takes form and shape? Wisdom takes on paint. Beauty becomes clothed in letters. Depths of emotion become suffused in photos. When something ephemeral inside of us takes on a concrete quality that can be shared. When our art lives on after we have departed. What is it called?
Maybe this is your real prayer for others and for yourself. “Make this trial and tragedy a glimpse of your glory, a window into your world.”
For years I have heard it said that the Christian community is to "incarnate" Jesus through word and deed. This makes me nervous.
Wendy Farley formulates a theology of Wisdom incarnate--unleashed by divine desire, found in ordinary life and born in a manger.