February 23 Reflections

One of the most transformative and life-changing truths is found in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus, who is God, took on human flesh and came to earth to be with us, not simply by us. I think it is an important distinction. With us means that he entered into our experience. He feels what we feel. He touches our pain and hurt. There is nothing that we face that he has not already faced. Jesus is not an observer. He didn’t come to earth thinking this was a spectator sport. I am going to come and look around. Simply be by them. Not really get to know them or try to understand their experience, just walk around in my holiness and be by them. This was not Jesus. He came to be with us.

When we think of healthy relationships, we have seen there are four movements:
1. Identity: Who we are that never changes.
2. Self-definition: What I say yes to. What I say no to. What I will do. What I won’t do.
3. Connection: Reach out our hand to all people, even with those we don’t agree with.
4. Surrender: Surrender every relationship to God.
Jesus is the perfect example and teacher of what it means to have a healthy relationship with God and others. He is our clearest picture of what it means to have identity, self-definition, connectedness, and surrender. What we are going to think about this week is how he connected when he made his dwelling among us.  He touched people. He physically touched them. He held out his hand and touched even the most unlikely of people, a leper, which is what we will look at this coming Sunday. 

This gives me hope because I know then that Jesus reaches out his hand to touch my pain, my sin, my failures, my shame, my depression, and my brokenness. He is truly with me in all of it, touching me with tenderness and gentleness.  “A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. “(Matthew 12:20) As we are healed, transformed by his loving gentle touch, we then seek to live in the same way. Bringing gentleness and tenderness as we extend our hand to others in connection, to be with them, to understand and love and heal. We are going to think about this on Sunday as we conclude the series on healthy relationships. Some passages to consider: Luke 5:12-16; John 1:14-16; Matthew 12:15-21; Hebrews 4:14-16.

Grace upon Grace,
Pastor Verlyn