At a recent service we asked people to create costumes and accessories to show the sort of things that they would give to someone going into dangerous territory. We had a fantastic time and the results were fairly (okay, very!!) hilarious.
We then contrasted this with Jesus who in becoming human gave up so much. Jesus is:
- The indestructible God who entered a fragile human body.
- God who can be everywhere and see all things but he limits himself to a body.
- God who knows everything but he limits himself to a human brain.
- God who is all-powerful but as a human he has to receive power from the Holy Spirit.
- God who created and runs the universe but he submits to human parents.
We thought about the incarnation (God becoming human) from God the fathers perspective. It is incredible to think of God sending his son in such a vulnerable state because most parents want to protect our children from everything. God the father expects his son to thrive even in difficult circumstances.
Towards the end of the service we shared communion and I asked people to talk about what had struck them during the service. A few different people said that they had never thought about God becoming a foetus before and someone even said they had never heard anyone put it that way before. One of the interesting things about this is that it is something I say every year in sermons which meant that although that person had heard it before but it hadn’t stuck with them. There was something different about the way that we learnt together during that service in a hands on and participatory way that meant that that person learnt something that they hadn’t remembered after a verbal explanation by itself. They were a little emotional and this information hand sunk in at an emotional level and had had an effect on them.
Many churches are more focused on teaching than on helping people learn. My sermons talking about God becoming a foetus were adequate explanations of this but different approaches to communication helped more people to learn about this mind-blowing reality. It’s easy for those of us who lead in churches to be lazy and to use a traditional sermon model but I hope we can be inspired by Jesus in the way he taught which was much more conversational and creative.
God became a foetus!
Jesus came into the world to help us to see who God is and to open up the way for us to know God now and forever. He went from God to a becoming a foetus in order to accomplish these things and this shows how much God loves us. Now that is something worth celebrating!