Summary: Words are not enough: the message must be incarnated to be communicated.
The Incarnation. WBC 14/12/03pm Jn 1:1-2, 14, Phil 2:5-11
Read Jn 1 passage
WORDS ARE NOTE ENOUGH
You have probably never heard of the island of Molokai. Well, it’s located in the state of Hawaii. And it has quite a history. You have to go way back to the late 1800’s to understand its significance. You see, back then, there was no cure for the highly contagious and deadly disease called leprosy. A disease that would attack the extremities of the body, the ears, the toes, the nose, the fingers. A horrible dreadful disease which today is curable, But, it wasn’t back then.
- So, in order to keep the disease at bay. In order to keep it from spreading and creating an epidemic, the government would send lepers to a colony on the island of Molakai where they would be secluded and isolated from those who were not infected with the disease.
- Well, in 1873, there was a young, brave Catholic priest named Father Damien who volunteered to spend his life serving the people secluded on the island of Molokai. When he arrived, he was startled to see people who were not only suffering physically, but socially, and emotionally, and spiritually. In the leper colony he saw extreme drunkenness, immorality, abuse, and an overall sense of hopelessness. What he saw were people who desperately needed to know the answer to a question we all ask... where is God? They needed God’s presence in their life.
- And so, in 1873, Father Damien lived among the 700 lepers. Knowing the dangers, realizing the inevitable results of so much personal contact with a highly contagious disease. He built hospitals, clinics, and churches and built some 600 coffins. And the whole while he was giving them the answer to that question... where is God?
- And whenever a church service was held. He would stand up in front of the lepers, and he would warmly, and lovingly address them as "my dear brethren." But then one morning in 1885, at the age of 45, in a calm clear voice, instead of "my dear brethren," he began with, "My fellow lepers, I am one of you now."
- You see it was out of love that a humble priest became one of the them. Out of love he gave those lepers a gift that would change their life for all of eternity. He shared with them the answer to the ever present question... "Where is God?" And the only way he could give them the answer is by becoming one of them.
Talking to ‘Tom’- a PhD at KAC at Panto. Studying ‘words and psychology’
- talking of power of words
- power of words in Xianty. (He’s not far from KOG!)
o creation- God spoke.
o God communicating through his prophets
o Concept of the ‘word’
Gk- ‘intermediary’, ‘interface’
• (actually a way of not touching the world)
But- with God- words are not enough.
- can isolate… keep distant … be our ivory tower (do we ever use words for that?)
- talking with Adam is not enough- walks with him in garden
- > the Word is not enough. It becomes FLESH.
In his book The Life of God in the Soul of Man, Henry Scougal, the seventeenth-century Scottish minister, said, “God hath long contended with a stubborn world, and thrown down many a blessing upon them; and when all his other gifts could not prevail, he at last made a gift of himself.”
Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 86. from SermonCentral PRO
He becomes IN- CARNATE and walks the talk.
Invisible in His own nature [God] became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, He chose to come within our grasp.”
— Leo the Great from www.sermoncentral.com
What an incredible concept!
- abhorrent to the Greek. Touching earth! Matter
- blasphemous to a Jew. God is transcendent
o but the distance travelled makes the incarnation, communication all the more powerful
An African boy listened carefully as his teacher explained why Christians give presents to each other on Christmas day. "The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other," she said.
When Christmas day came, the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. "Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?" the teacher asked.
The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless. "Why ... why, it’s gorgeous ... wonderful, but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get the gift for me."
His eyes brightening, the boy answered, "Long walk part of gift."
God came from heaven to a manger, from a manger to a cross, from a cross to the grave and from a grave back to heaven. And we ask, "Why all this trouble, God?"