As I read in the book of Hebrews over the last couple of days, I can’t help but to be in awe of God and his condescension (in the good sense of coming down to us, not cruelly looking down on us like this image could portray). God is so frequently seen as fixed in stone like this rock looking down upon humanity. He is seen as impersonal and frozen in “Bible times”. Unknowable. Untouchable. Cold. Cracked. Out-of-touch and out-of-place here in our world. Yet, isn’t it true that He created us? Isn’t it true that He sent His Son to know our temptations and to overcome them? Isn’t it true that He, as our Messiah, Jesus Christ, the God-man came to make Himself known to us?
Another reminder I’ve had from the Lord through His Word in Hebrews is that God’s people are often our most tangible reminder of God Himself. It’s through one another that God often incarnates His Son to each of us. C.S. Lewis used to say apparently that we should be, as much as possible, the answer to one another’s prayers. How often do we hear a sibling in Christ or a neighbor, whether a believer or not, share a concern, and we simply say we will pray for them. What about praying for them right there with their permission? What about spending more time with them and looking for ways to ease their struggle and pain? What about loving on them inside of the same week you heard about their sorrow or suffering?
We have the opportunity to remind one another of Christ coming down to us. May we come down off of our high horses so-to-speak and genuinely ask one another how we are doing? Let’s pray for one another in person and care for one another. In so doing, we will be reminding each other that we do not serve an impersonal God. We are God’s instruments/tools for grace and kindness and truth spoken in love. May God’s Word come out in our gentle questions and patient listening and humble encouragements and broken challenges (I say broken because we should be so warm and consistent in our friendships toward those we are challenging, that they see brokenness and great care coming from us by the time we speak truths that correct in any way. If we want our challenges to have an impact, we must be showing our dedication to each other’s ultimate good and our hope for continued relationship – even though once we challenge each other, there is always the risk of being abandoned by the ones we are seeking to show love to through speaking the truth in love).
In every friendship, we have the opportunity to remind one another that we have a VERY personal God Who makes Himself known CONSTANTLY in this world through His children, a humble, broken, joyful, heart-full-of-grace people who are constantly filled by His Spirit and His Word for more and more usefulness.
May God’s people celebrate their Savior all the more this Sunday.
In His friendship,