I'm supposed to be writing about the incarnation of Christ for my ordination papers and to be honest, I'm struggling with it. Now, don't get me wrong--the incarnation is probably my doctrine of choice. I love the power of God's love as it's conveyed through the incarnation. God came to us in the most vulnerable form possible making God's self-completely dependent on us. The creator of all became dependent on us--a bunch of broken individuals. That's huge. But, that's not the part I struggle with.
The part that's hard for me is seeing other people as if they were Christ. I can treat them as if they were--that's different, but actually seeing them as Christ--that's hard. Today it hit me as to why it's so hard--it's hard because if I look at others as if they were Christ, then I'm beckoned to see myself as if I were Chrisst. I dont' even like writing that because it's so challenging. I dont' see myself as Christ-like. I see muyself a broken and imperfect. I struggle to even accept God's grace and God's affirmation that I am worthy, beloved, and good enough--let alone venturing to see myself as Christ.
I suppose that's where I need to be willing to receive more grace. That is afterall a part of the incarnation message. The message I'm supposed to preach, not just out of necessity but out of conviction.
What would it mean to be convicted that I could actually see Christ in myself? that someone could see Christ in me without projecting all over me as if I were the actual messiah?
Maybe that's another sticking point....that I'm hailed as the "saving one"--the one who will renew and redeem a church, who will resurrect old ministries, who will birth the church of tomorrow--and that's clearly not my role. I AM NOT THE MESSIAH! But, at the same time, if I am living a Christ-like life, and following Christ in ministyr, then I have been given the power and authirty to do "these things and greater" for the sake of Christ and the kingdom.
Maybe a Christ-like existence should confuse people--maybe they shoudl see so much of Christ in us that they almost believe they've encountered Christ. Maybe. Or maybe that's heresy. I know of pastors who clearly see Christ when they minister with the poor, the marginalized, and the dejected. They live Matthew 25 and treat others as if they were Christ and they see them as such. So, if we can see Christ in the brokenness, why can't we see Christ in the fulfillment of Christ's example?