1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
It is stunning to me the history of faith from the intimacy of God walking with Adam in the garden, to the Lord appearing at the home of Abraham, to Christ eating with his disciples and beyond. God meets us in all sorts of ways, but they all have one thing in common all throughout Scripture: He meets us face to face.
I love that about God. When He wrote the Ten Commandments for the people of Israel, he wrote them with His very finger. And when the world was in desperately in need of salvation, He Himself came down to us in flesh.
Have you ever had to try and maintain a long distance relationship? It’s tough, if not down right impossible. Facebook helps. Phone calls help. Sending letters and texts are good. But nothing takes the place of actually being together. That’s because God created ALL relationship to be foundational upon being face to face.
We sometimes here around Advent and Christmas the word “Incarnation.” That is “living embodiment of God,” “God wrapped in flesh,” Jesus Christ. There was no other way mankind could be saved. No amount of animal sacrifices, attempts at holy living, or powerful kings could transform the darkened hearts of man. Only “God is flesh.”
You see that’s the single most important event was the coming of the single most important person, the creator face to face with his creation. We serve an incarnational Christ.
And that incarnational Christ gave the command to his followers in Matthew 28:19,20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
He told them to make disciples of all nations. Who? The church (That’s us by the way). How do you think he would ask us to do that? Phone calls? Advertising? Facebook? Well, none of that is wrong. But like with any relationship, they cannot take the place of face to face. All relationship is based on that foundation. And like Jesus walking and eating with his disciples, he asks us to to walk and eat as we make disciples of Him.
Why is that so important? Well, our culture is constantly advertised to, attending overproduced events, and getting overly bombarded by the superficial. But the people are dying because it is the deep places that are crying out to know and be known. And that just can’t happen any other way other than face to face.
So, again, as we take steps to move towards leading others to Christ (both those in our church and those not), we must make intentional face to face time. Studying the word. Praying for one another. Eating together. Or just hanging out and having fun. All throughout Acts you read about the church meeting frequently, even every day, and the church grew and grew even amidst persecution.
Acts 2:46,47: “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
We serve an Incarnational Christ. We must become an Incarnational Church.
How can you take steps today to be incarnational?