Flesh and Blood
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
John 1:14, The Message
We worship an incarnational God – a God who came to us in the flesh, willingly choosing to become human in Jesus. That’s not just the message we proclaim at Christmas; it’s the model for the way we live our faith and share it all year round.
Following Jesus is incarnational. We enter the worlds of others – our co-workers and friends, our neighbors, strangers we meet as we go about our day. We’re with them in the flesh, not just on the surface. And when we enter the world of others in the same way Jesus entered ours – incarnationally – it changes the way we share our faith. Our sharing takes on a different kind of rhythm, that of word and deed.
Whether we realize it or not, each day we proclaim the good news – both formally and informally – in our conversation, in our expression. This is the rhythm of word. All those beside whom we live, work, and play hear our words, not just those of our preachers and teachers. When we struggle, they hear our struggle. When we celebrate, they hear our celebration. When we enter their struggle – in the flesh, not just on the surface – they hear those words as well. When we share their celebration – in the flesh, not just on the surface – their joy is enhanced by the sound of ours. For every divisive word spewed by others, they wait for a word from us. What will it be? A word of confirmation or a word of the Gospel?
Whether we realize it or not, each day we proclaim the good news – and we act, practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice. Word and deed come together, as intimately entwined as breathing in and breathing out. Deciding which is more important depends on which you did last.
Whether we realize it or not, each day we live out our faith – in the flesh, not in theory – and those beside whom we live, work, and play, hear and watch. They watch as we treat or mistreat others, reach out or ignore the suffering, stand with or against the oppressed, work for or against reconciliation, trust and love.
What will they see? Will there be rhythm in our words and deeds?
Word and deed: in the flesh, not just in theory.
So, what will you do next?
Breathe in? Breathe out?