November 04, 2011

Hanging Out in Our Neighborhood

John 1:1-14; Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
John 1:14


In situations of grief or stress, have you ever heard someone say, “I understand?” It’s a risky statement. It should be used with great caution. Can we really understand what someone else is experiencing? Can someone else really feel what I’m feeling? Most of the time we get it wrong. But sometimes there is real comfort when someone who’s “been there” understands a lot of what we are going through.

The gospel means “good news,” and a major dimension of this is that Jesus understands us. He “gets it.” Jesus invites us to join him in his sending mission of love. He says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

There’s a big word that describes exactly how Jesus was sent into the world. It’s called incarnation. Jesus became one of us. He lived among us. He hung out in our neighborhood. He experienced life fully and completely as we do. He was even tempted, “as we are—yet he did not sin.” He “gets it” because he was one of us.

Isn’t that incredible good news? A few years ago there was a popular song that said, “What if God were one of us … ?” But he already is. God chose to reach us through his Son, Jesus, becoming a human being in every respect.

Why do you think God has put you in your neighborhood? Think about that today.

Lord, thank you for walking with me through my life’s situations. Show me how to connect with others in my neighborhood and to share your good news with them. Amen.

About the author — Allen & Lynn Likkel

Revs. Allen and Lynn Likkel have worked in communities across North America for many years—planting churches, nurturing them along, and developing new church leaders. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Allen served with Christian Reformed Home Missions for nearly 40 years, and Lynn, also ordained as a minister of the Word, has served to build leaders and new congregations. In November 2010, Allen entered retirement, and the Likkels moved to Washington, their native state. They have four adult children.

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