Best of Daily Reflections: How I Wish Jesus Were HereDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“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.”
A few months ago, I had to cancel our contracts with the freelance editors who have helped us for several years. To me it felt like a wonderful team was being scattered. We were all going different directions, and I scrambled my brain trying to find wisdom for how to honor people's work.
In some of my early conversations, it was tempting to create a false dualism that valued embodied relationships over digital relationships. Consider the incarnation! On the other hand, the incarnation was two thousand years ago. If God values embodied relationships more than disembodied relationships, then you might say God has been doing a poor job of relating to us since then. Sometimes, it feels that God hasn’t made it very easy to be in relationship with him. It would be so much better if he were here, physically.
On the other hand, God has made it possible to be in relationship with him! What an astounding gift for the Creator of the universe to care about us at all, much less to invite our prayers and intervene in the mundane details of our lives!
How do we respond to this incredible gift? We share it with others. We go. This is the Great Commission. We try to help people experience God’s gift with their bodies through baptism and communion and congregational worship and small group Bible studies and homeless shelters and food banks and potlucks and parties.
The church is a form of incarnation, the current body of Christ, united across geographies and borders, yes. Sometimes in our desire to change the world, to reach a large digital audience, we forget the active power and influence of local churches, where a group of specific people meet together in specific places for specific periods of time.
Digital tools help us share ideas between these physical communities so that we can all grow more. We do not have a disembodied relationship with God. Far from it, we are surrounded by the body of Christ in our local churches. And Christ will be with us even to the end of the age.
PRAYER: Lord, we worship you, even in our doubts and our struggles. I know that you are with us, and I long to meet you in person. I want to see you and believe. But you told Thomas, "Blessed are those who believe without seeing." I do believe in you, God, without seeing anything other than your body the church. I do believe in the church, God, even those parts of the church that I see digitally rather than physically. Bless us as we go into the world. Let us continue to serve you and others in all that we do. Amen.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”