Incarnation 2019-02-06T12:23:07+00:00

incarnation

THE TRUE IMAGEBEARER

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DISCOVERING AN EMBODIED SPIRITUALITY WITHIN

Incarnation

IDENTIFICATION

When the second person of the Trinity, the Spirit of Christ, comes in the flesh, baptised into the womb of a young virgin Jewish girl and born in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, he is named Jesus. Every moment after of this child’s development is exactly like our own in every way. He is fully human and has to grow into both His divine imagebearing and His human imagebearing ability. Jesus holds the tension between His Trinitarian Family and His Human genealogy. He is the perfect imagebearer. The perfect Israelite, the true covenant keeper and does it all by being human. Trinity and Humanity in perfect healthy tension. He learns who He is through suffering. He is also the template, the blueprint and the prototype for all imagebearers. What God is doing in Him, He wants to do in us and In the whole of New Creation, The Son of God becomes a creature, He is of atoms, human, finite, and yet still the divine Son of God. God is reconciling all things and redeeming all creation in this one dusty man from Nazareth. Jesus is the perfect imagebearer, matured humanity. Once more, He calls us to be in His image. He is human in every way as we are and filled with the Holy Spirit, bringing order, beauty and abundance as well as healing, deliverance and resurrection life to establish a new kingdom of new creatures – imagebearers. We get called for, through and by God’s name, to be made corporately, into the body and image of Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

– John 1:1-4 (NIV)

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of graceand truth.

– John 1:14 (NIV)

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

– Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

“Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”

– Henri Nouwen

“Humanity is not a disease that needs to be cured or a state of deficiency from which we need to escape. The spiritual journey is not intended to make us into angels, cherubim, seraphim, gods, or some other form of spiritual beings. It is intended to help us become all that we, as humans, can be.”

– David Benner

“Now with God’s help I shall become myself”

– Soren Kierkegaard

Jesus with Skin On

A NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN

To take Jesus’ whole life from virgin birth to the final week surrounding Easter, or even to focus only on the three final days surrounding His death, burial and resurrection is to lose the importance of His breathing in and out life. This life that He partook of from inception in a teenagers womb until he ascended fully human into heaven has much to teach us as a whole, He now makes intercession for all things to be brought under His feet. We should not make a distinction between His life and His work. After all it is His life that was the work, and not just one week or three days but 33 years and on into eternity now. He is alive, still available and He is still human, calling all imagebearers to partake in His body, Communion, Baptism into His death, His resurrection Life and His bride, the Church. He and we are wounded and remember His broken body and His spilt blood, for the whole world.

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Identification

THEME

I remember hearing the story of a little girl who had night terrors everyday. Her parents would go to sleep at night knowing that at some point during the night they would awaken to screams from their daughter. This happened for months on end. It was exhausting for everyone in the house. Night after night they would rush to her bedside and comfort, sing songs and cuddle her till she would fall back to sleep. They would pray that it would end, but sure enough they would hear the anguish in her voice and rush to help. One night her mum said to her child “You know that God is with you and Jesus is present here in your room.” Immediately the girl replied, “Yes, I know mummy, but sometimes I just need Jesus with skin on.” This sums up the human predicament and the deepest desire in the human heart. But to answer this cry, He must become an imagebearer and enter our joy and our despair.

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Entering into the story…

Jesus is God’s personal Self-Revelation as Triune. When we meet Jesus, we actually meet the Incarnate Son of God, and his Father, and the Holy Spirit. The Triune God has been made known to us in and through Jesus, who also makes known what truly human life in the Holy Spirit looks like. – Cherith Nordling

Read the passage linked below and imagine the scene as if you were a movie director working with the characters. Often, we do not enter scripture with our humanity intact and we do not dignify the characters we find there by giving them their humanity in return. The goal of Lectio Divina is to meditate on the scene we find there and allow the characters to speak to us by vividly imagining the scene as if we are standing there physically too. Ask Holy Spirit to make the scenario come to life as you read using all of your senses to visualise everything in the scene…

Isaiah 53

Prophecy of the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON from 700 years before a little boy was named Jesus, (a common name at the time).

Jesus talks about His exclusivity as he reads the scroll in the synagogue, essentially saying…”today Isaiah 61 is fulfilled in me!” He then “drops the mic” and sits down…

Luke 4:16-30

As you read Isaiah 53 what strikes you about this incarnational expression of the fulfilment of the whole story of God in human form? Jesus looks like us. His family watched him grow up. Now he is back in Nazareth, his home and he looks like everyone else in the room, everybody recognises Him. Yet, He is saying as Joseph and Mary’s son that He is the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53 and 61. How arrogant? How blasphemous? How dare He come to his hometown and claim to be the Messiah personified. Notice Jesus’ confidence.

Can you see why the crowd could grow livid and as the blood fills their eyes, they want to kill him! To add salt to the wound the text reads like this:

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on Him, intent. Then He started in, “You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.”

22 All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well he spoke. But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since he was a youngster?”

23-27 He answered, “I suppose you’re going to quote the proverb, ‘Doctor, go heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we heard you did in Capernaum.’ Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown. Isn’t it a fact that there were many widows in Israel at the time of Elijah during that three and a half years of drought when famine devastated the land, but the only widow to whom Elijah was sent was in Sarepta in Sidon? And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of the prophet Elisha but the only one cleansed was Naaman the Syrian.”

He is now saying, not only have you rejected your own, a child of your community, but similarly, Israel as a whole has rejected their messiah, so now the message will go to the gentile! Ouch… What would they say to that?

28-30 That set everyone in the meeting place seething with anger. They threw him out, banishing him from the village, then took him to a mountain cliff at the edge of the village to throw him to his doom, but he gave them the slip and was on his way.

What did Jesus really look like?

1) Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, clear your mind, and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you. Ask God to speak to you through this image.

2) Lectio (read): Open your eyes and scan the image. Note what draws your interest, but continue to scan the whole image. Close and rest your eyes a minute.

3) Mediatio (meditate): Open your eyes and let your eyes be led. Focus on just the part of the image that caught your eyes and name it. Close your eyes, seeing that piece of the image in your mind.

4) Oratio (pray): Open your eyes and look again at the piece of the image that caught your eye. Allow it to bring forth a word, image, or emotion. Close and rest your eyes.

5) Contemplatio (contemplation): Open your eyes and gaze at the whole image. What is God speaking to you today through this image? How will you respond to Him? Spend time processing that with God. Pray or journal about it.

Every Covenant fulfilled in this One Son.

With All Creation (Covenant with Adam and Eve in the Garden): Jesus came made of atoms, human and yet partaking of Trinitarian fellowship from within a body in every moment of His life.

With Every Creature (Covenant with Noah after the Flood): He became incarnate as a human being and lived as the second person of the Trinity as a Creature.

With Human Families (Covenant to Abraham to give him a promised son and bless all nations): He joined a human family, redeeming His genealogy and all that came before by being a son and a brother. Fully human.

With one Nation (Covenant to build an everlasting Kingdom): He was born a Jew in Palestine. He is the perfect Israelite, where all of God’s chosen people failed to keep the covenant, He fulfils it in every part.

With all Nations (Covenant in the Great Commission and the filling of the Holy Spirit to empower them to go into all the world): He reached out to Jews and non-Jews with the Kingdom of God. All nations are included in this good news.

With the Coming Kingdom (Covenant to establish an everlasting Kingdom): He said the Kingdom has come and prayed let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

With Reuniting Heaven and Earth (Covenant to reconcile all things into a New Heaven and New Earth into full Trinitarian Fellowship): He comes as the second Adam to fulfil the covenants of old and the Law from the human side of the equation and reunite heaven and earth as it was in the beginning, so it will be in the New Creation as the Kingdom spreads to encompass all things once more.

So send I you to labor unrewarded,

To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,

To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-

So send I you to toil for Me alone.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,

O’er wand’ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,

To bear the burdens of a world aweary-

So send I you to suffer for My sake.

So send I you to loneliness and longing,

With heart hung’ring for the loved and known,

Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-

So send I you to know My love alone.

So send I you to leave your life’s ambition,

To die to dear desire, self-will resign,

To labor long, and love where men revile you-

So send I you to lose your life in Mine.

So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,

To eyes made blind because they will not see,

To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not-

So send I you to taste of Calvary.

– A hymn by Margaret Clarkson

Embodied Spirituality in Practice

A DISCIPLINE OR PRACTICE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR LIFE.

When we consider that Jesus’ life is the model for all human life. We were made in the image of God and now the image of God has taken on human flesh and we are re-made once more in our imitation of Him. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are animated into the body of Christ on earth, as it is in heaven. We get to be fully human and adopted in to a new belonging in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

IMAGEBEARER: TENSION REFLECTION

Getting in touch with Jesus, the divine imagebearer and the tensions he held in each moment to be fully human and yet fully God. He is doing it right now at the right hand of the Father. Pulling the Human and Trinitarian Families together into one.

Notice the Tension between Jesus’ divine life and human life in every part of His being.

Jesus’ divinity has been hotly debated. We seem to forget what a momentous occasion it was that the second person of the Trinity, the Spirit of Christ would come at a certain point in human history to be born into a human womb. Just as all things were made by the word, so the word now becomes flesh. Truth that brought the whole world into existence by God’s word, now is truth incarnate. This truth had to be expressed unbroken, without a lie moment by moment every second, minute, hour, day and month for 33 years. Perfectly congruent with God, the Father, aligned and discerning the will of the Holy Spirit and in keeping with Trinitarian Fellowship all while in human form as the perfect imagebearer of God. Jesus’ divinity was held in perfect tension with His humanity; neither could overtake, overwhelm or swallow up the other. They must exist in perfect peace.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

– Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

He grew up in stature before God and man (Luke 2:52). It is not a surprise that James, Jesus’ own half brother did not believe that He was the Son of God until after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus did not walk around with a halo of light around His head, He was not playing in the back yard doing miracles like Harry Potter, He was human like you and me, had to grow into His humanity and identity as the Son of God and also the Son of Man. He had to have faith in His Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit. When He healed people he was doing so by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was also an apprentice of His father, Joseph. He worked as a carpenter and apprenticed under Him as a day labourer. A blue collar worker. In so many ways, He had no advantage over us, He was fully human as we are. Had to learn to talk, walk and be potty trained. He was frail and finite and an imagebearer of God. If we put His humanity on a pedestal we lose the power of what He was doing, if He was like us in every way and yet without sin, well, then, He is truly Human. Miraculously 100% human. He was not broken until He hung on the tree and took our sin. Here we see a human body that is the focus of every force of evil in existence, He truly was tried and tested, died and then was resurrected, fully God and fully Human.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

– Colossians 1:15-20

The Kingdom of God = Humanity + Divinity in Living Abiding Tension

Jesus said to His disciples, His imagebearers,

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

– John 14:8-14

We are human, God’s imagebearers, made into the image of Christ, who is our prototype and shows us how to be fully human. In God’s image and now in the image of the Son of God, we are filled with the same Holy Spirit. So, we are baptised into the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and are at no disadvantage to Christ. Jesus of Nazareth is just like us, at the ascension Jesus of Nazareth, becomes the ascended Saviour of the Universe. He was humbled and now He has been glorified, in this divine/human image, we find salvation for our humanity and partake of resurrection life. We can do what He did and more as we follow His example and hold the tension between our humanity and this divine life He now shares with us.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

– Romans 8:11

The kingdom of God is made up of a diverse community of imagebearers who are united by one Spirit and joined into one body, we are expected to bring order, beauty and abundance as well as deliverance, healing and resurrection life as pockets of the Kingdom wherever we go.

If we remember from an earlier module, “we are to go to our cell and stay there, God will teach us everything we need to know.” With the time we are given each day we should ask, “What is my obedience today?” What am I responsible for today? Holy Spirit give me discernment moment by moment to know what I should pray, what I should do and what I should say according to your leading? What is not my responsibility? Help me to stay Human and allow God’s power to be shown in my weakness today. Help me to know that God does bring healing through me, that it is His power at work in me and through me. My job is be truly human and allow the Spirit of God to empower me to pray for healing or deliver beauty in my creative imagebearing work.

Where can you stay Human and also see the limitless power of eternity expressed through your embodied spirituality today? What can you leave up to God, so that you stay within your responsibilities and trust God with the unknown, the future or the past. Let God be God and you stay you! What He asks of us is a long line of obedience in the same direction. So we ask again, “What is my obedience today?” and do that. This is how the kingdom of God comes moment by moment where we are.

Here is a related Spiritual Practice called “Saying Yes and Saying No” for you to explore.

Application

DISCOVERING AN EMBODIED SPIRITUALITY OF DESIGN CREATIVITY AND THE ARTS.

At each step along the itinerary of the Biblical Timeline we will look at how the following themes come into play at each juncture of the journey…

God exists eternally as Father, Spirit of Christ and Holy Spirit. For all eternity they have existed this way and yet an extraordinary thing happens at this juncture of the story of God and the Story of Man. Actually the two stories which have always converged actually intersect completely and suddenly in a virgin birth. Suddenly the Spirit of Christ in birthed and baptised into a human womb. This same God who has always existed has now taken form as a tiny frail, finite, gifted, human child. His fingers are tiny, his eyes are fused shut, he develops in every way as we do and is birthed into the world. This baby who will be named Jesus, was not known as Jesus before this time, and He will live and move and have His being as a human being not just for 33 years here on earth, but forevermore. He is fully God and fully man. Since He partakes of both an eternal family in Trinity and a temporal one in His Human genealogy. He has come to redeem all things, so came as made of atoms to redeem every atom, a creature to redeem all creation, as the perfect Israelite to redeem the nation of Israel, as a Palestinian/Jew to redeem both the people of God and all Gentiles and as a human being to redeem all imagebearers. He did all of this while being fully God and fully man. Yet, His humanity did not swallow whole His divinity and neither did His divinity destroy His humanity. He held the tension in every second and moment by moment while being fully finite, frail, gifted and in perfect communication and synchronised to both the Father and Holy Spirit in Trinitarian Fellowship.

Jesus was born into this world human in every way as we are. We do not really get this miracle until we are able to identify with Christ in our shared humanity at every single stage of human development. He went through every stage as a human being. He had no halo around His head, he looked just like us, felt like us, spoke like us and did everything we as humans do. He was not able to tell the future unless the Holy Spirit gave him a word of knowledge, could heal only by the Holy Spirit’s power and was growing in stature before God and man. He had to work for His identity, believe by faith that He was the only begotten Son of God and he had to agree with God’s will on earth as it is in heaven, even as it dawned on Him that His purpose would lead Him to a painful torturous sacrificial death by a Roman killing machine. He lived each moment with absolutely no advantage over us. He was like us in every way and yet without sin. Every choice was made submitted to God; He did only what He saw His Father do, only what the Holy Spirit revealed to Him and he had to be made perfect in His humanity through the things which He suffered. He is the prototype, the blueprint, the first fully human one, the first God-Man, we will all follow in His footsteps as we are made into new creatures . The perfect missionary, He lived loving each moment as pure delight within His human DNA and held that in perfect tension with His nature and character as the Spirit of Christ.

From the start, God could have hit a “reset button” to return everything to pristine condition. He also could have exterminated humanity and started over after the fall. God does neither of these options, He is committed to saving humanity in the most human way possible, from within our ranks. All through the Old Testament, they were waiting for the Messiah to come and make things right. When He finally comes, He is made in their image, looks like them and is in every way human, and He is almost too familiar so much so that in Nazareth His ministry was despised. God could have saved us on a weekend outreach. He could speak as He did in the beginning and recreate everything, yet He doesn’t, He involves us. He also could have come as a superman who swoops in and sets everything right and swoops back out. He did not come as an alien, instead He came as familiar, a perfect missionary into human culture, into human skin, into creation and lives among us, tabernacled with us, just as He was in the Old Testament, except now, He is one with us, one with suffering, one with the sick, the weary, the diseased. He partakes of everything we do completely. He loves to be human, where we recoil from it. He is hands on, accessible, vulnerable, he sweats blood, has dirty feet and groans with compassion for the crowds – the throngs of people that surround Him – hoping for healing, for order, for deliverance and for resurrection life. Jesus then ascends and stays human. So, He came from Trinity to become human and as Human He returns to include humanity into the Godhead forever.

Walking about in human flesh and yet also simultaneously holding everything together as the Spirit of Christ in the same moment, He upholds the rotation of the planets in orbit, holds the very body He is living in and also is a baby, then a child, then an adolescent and then a young man. He apprentices as a day labourer with his father, and after His father passes away he becomes the primary bread winner for the family, His mother, His brothers and sisters. He waits until He is thirty years old before entering His ministry. He shows power over creation, over demonic spirits, over religious and political powers that be and also brings abundance in the feeding of thousands, beauty in the restoration of broken limbs,  healing to broken hearts and comfort for the afflicted. Finally He resurrects even the dead. His power seems to have no end and yet, the disciples keep asking “when are you going to institute the Kingdom?” When will you hit the button on “Kingdom Come”. They want everything to be put right in a moment, and Jesus refuses.

Jesus was a man of many sorrows, but he was also accused by the pharisees of partying too much as well. Pleasure and pain is registered in the same part of the brain. They said to Him why do you and your disciples live a very different type of life than John the Baptist and his disciples? Jesus was familiar with all manner of difficulties and also a man of great joy. He was content in both. He was willing to embrace the full gamut of human existence and to be baptised into great joy and also great pain for us. He grew up with huge expectations hanging over Him. Everybody expected something from him. He was he son of God and had to fulfil every one of the covenants perfectly all while being fully human as we are. He made every moment count from birth to death and lived defying the expectation of the Pharisees, not bowing to political pressures or religious regulations. He was tempted in every way as we are and yet without sin. This was not because he was better than us or because He was the Son of God and we are not. He was like us in every way… So had no advantage over us. On the cross, he bled and died as a human being, just as all human beings do, yet was fully human throughout. We will understand the incarnation only to the degree that we see him as fully human. He went through every stage of life making the right choices against all obstacles and aware of when he was tempted as we are. He is incredible and also exactly like us, perfected through the things which He suffered. Even in Jesus, God wanted Him to feel all that we feel and to take on our disease, our brokenness and our frailty to the point of death and indeed beyond. In the green of Gethsemane his body was pushed beyond its limits as He sweat blood from psychological stress as He contemplated the path God had set before Him. What an incredibly human picture of the Son of God. He asked “if there is any other way, let this cup pass from me” and then resigned His will fully surrendered to God and acted in obedience as a human being. Such pain and sacrifice to lay down His life for His enemies, abandoned by those who He had called to be his disciples as He died a death of asphyxiation on the cross.

Jesus seems to have spent the majority of his life working a normal 9 to 5 job as a day labourer. He did not feel pressure to enter “ministry” because He viewed work differently from us. He knew His work was to be embodied as a son of God and a son of Man. He would have to do equally ordinary and extraordinary things as part of His calling, but he was completely surrendered to God and was in no rush to prove himself nor to show off. He was subtle, telling those He healed, delivered and resurrected to keep quiet about it. He silences demons who recognised Him and yet the throngs of crowds gathered wherever He went. He was both completely down to earth and also out of this world. He knew the power shown in Him was the will and work of the Holy Spirit and that the wisdom he showed as the son was done in submission to His Father. He would have heard the stories of His birth, how angels appeared as well as read the prophecies of the coming messiah and had to grown into understanding of who He was by reconciling these passages to His calling in God. I am sure He grew into this knowledge moment by moment as it was revealed to His finite human mind, will and emotions. What a journey of discovery for a boy from Nazareth, who was born in Palestine and had to flee to Egypt for his life. He was poor, a refugee, and then he became an orphan upon Joseph’s death and his mother became a widow. So He stayed in his work to provide for His brothers and sisters as the oldest son in the family. Only at the age of thirty when He would take on the role of rabbi did He start his official ministry. Confirmed at baptism by the Holy Spirit where God the Father said, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased!” What confirmation for Jesus to hear these words, which affirmed what He had to fight to understand was His true identity throughout His life, and yet how similar He is to us as we work out our identity and vocational calling too.

If there is any part of your life where you feel there is a chasm between Jesus in his incarnation and your own experience of being human, to that same extent will you fully grasp God’s salvation of your whole person! If I can’t imagine Jesus as a baby, as a teenager with hormones raging or as a kid playing in the neighbourhood, I don’t really know Him. He was born at a disadvantage, and becomes in many ways the lowest common denominator of human life. We know that He was intelligent, that he was able to hold His own in the synagogue and that people were astonished by His confidence and His ability to tell parables that caused revelation to occur in His hearers. He was witty, funny and used different methods each time he healed someone. Often spitting in the dirt and rubbing it on blind eyes, he also spat on a man’s tongue… he told jokes to make a point and adapted his speaking, tone and ministrations uniquely to the audience in front of Him. He had huge compassion, was a friend to the fatherless and a comfort to those in pain. He delighted in healing the sick and releasing captives, identifying needs and tactfully addressing people’s deepest desires, a master communicator, fully embodied and relevant to people’s groaning and deepest longings. He was someone you could be yourself with and also someone you did not want to cross. He knew people’s hearts even when the religious were trying to catch Him out. Even when every meal he was invited to had hidden intentions and false motives, rather than true hospitality, He was sensitive to them and defied expectations. Some were growing disillusioned too. He did not seem to want to confront the powers that be politically, and for the zealots, this was very unsatisfactory. Indeed even to His brothers and mother who pleaded with Him to come home, He seemed oblivious to the dangers ahead. Just as His life began in obscurity, Jesus knew His life would end in infamy, but also victory that at first looks like only crushing defeat.

Creative expression

INSPIRATION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION FROM A CREATIVE

FIONA GIFFORD

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Final Take-Away to give context…

PROVOKE THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS…

The Second person of Trinity comes from the womb of a teenage girl through a virgin birth at an inopportune time to fulfil the voice of the prophets of old. He comes with the beating heart of God embedded in a human chest to fulfil the law and affirm it in every part of His being. He tore down the legalistic fences and left us with a relational love for God. He restored the broken, set the captives free and fed the hungry bringing abundance and order and beauty as well as deliverance, healing and resurrection bursting at the seams. He calmed nature, He battled demons and conquered death as the sacrificial lamb slain before the foundation of the world. This was always the plan. He did it all made in the image of God and Man

He had no advantage over us, like us He had to grow into His identity, battle with evil and make the difficult choices while being in moment by moment unbroken relationship and obedience to Father and Holy Spirit. Moment by moment sinless through hard won choices which would lead Him to a brutal death hanging from a fallen tree. His death would secure the rights for every imagebearer to be free, for the tree He hung upon to be redeemed and for the atoms He was made of to be reborn incorruptible in a resurrected body. He is the template, the blueprint, the prototype of what we will one day be. He has the record of His life, the scar tissue of His humanity etched into His body now and forever at the right hand of God.

Just as a missionary will go to a people not ones own and adopt the best of their culture to incorporate it into ones lifestyle and family. So, Jesus went back to Trinity, not as the Spirit of Christ, but included His human imagebearing not just for the 33 years He was here on earth, but from His birth and through His death and resurrection and ascension, He fights for our human DNA to be spliced into Trinitarian Fellowship forevermore. He is a Human imagebearer standing as a full member of the Trinity and holding all things together even up until this moment. He, who became nothing for us, has been raised up so that everything can be put under His feet. His feet are human. Humanity will be the pinnacle of the New Creation just as it was in the First Creation. 

Your take-away

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Questionnaire

Additional Resources:

Creative Imagebearers Workbook – Aleck Cartwright:

Watch all seven of the Bible Project Videos that highlight what Jesus has done…
1. The Image of God
2. Heaven and Earth
3. Covenants
4. Messiah
5. Day of the Lord
6. Sacrifice and Atonement
7. The Gospel of the Kingdom
What problem does Jesus solve in each video? How does He do so? What images/words are repeated in each video? Draw your own timeline for each video.

Stages of Human Development – TV series on Netflix

Flight of Faith: The Jesus Story
https://youtu.be/gU5p6061M34

Jesus: Historical Evidence
https://youtu.be/gZ1NBlDukZM

The Crucifixion:
https://youtu.be/dllzs9Ckb-I

“We own our emotions, they don’t own us.”
TED Talk on how to own your emotions in a healthy way: http://t.ted.com/kZ3eEcm

Watch the Bible Project Gospel Series:
https://thebibleproject.com/explore/gospel-series/