“And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us…” I had never thought about how difficult this was until recently. I mean, I (Daniel) have lived away from home a number of times. I spent a semester in Greece, a summer in Germany, another summer in Papua New Guinea, and visits to Peru, Honduras, and Belize on mission trips, as well as the blessing to travel. But I’ve never experienced a culture in-depth like I have here in Buenos Aires.
We’ve built amazing friendships in the church. We’ve been taken into people’s homes and lives. We’ve laughed, cried, shared, joked, and loved over a meal together or a coffee. We’ve opened up about our faith, taught about God, learned about culture, and shared our lives with others.
We’ve also experienced the struggles of expressing ourselves in a new language, learning how to get food at the super-market, and buy cell phones. We’ve wrestled with making ourselves understood. We’ve cried over the bad decisions present in our friends’ lives. We’ve been frustrated over crowded subways and buses, broken ATMs, and things that aren’t like home. We’ve missed family, friends, and peanut butter. We’ve survived, we’ve adapted, and we’ve been changed. We have been blessed by this experience, and it has forced us to grow in new and exciting ways. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and a LOT about God.
How amazing is it that Jesus chose to do this intentionally for us! Jesus willingly left his home in Heaven and came to earth! That is a greater change than we have ever experienced. Jesus learned a new language. He taught the truths of God in new ways. He laughed, cried, shared, joked, played, learned, and taught. He came to share the truth about God and to change the hearts and lives of the people.
Jesus has cried over people’s bad decisions. He’s rejoiced as they respond in faith. I am sure there were times when he simply wished like things were the way they were at home.
“And the Word became flesh…” Paul writes that Jesus “made himself nothing…” He emptied himself, he gave up what he knew to bless us! How amazing is it that Jesus gave up everything, EVERYTHING, in order to win us back.
Are we willing to do the same? Are we willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ? To make ourselves nothing, to take the nature of a servant? To become all things to win some? God, give me the ability to empty myself for your glory.