Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
In an individualistic age, being the church is a counter-cultural statement.
Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
Read 1 John 4:7-21
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
More thoughts to ponder
God loves us individually. God became an individual and a rather heroic one, at that! Christians are not anti-individual.
But we are anti-individualism. Individualism ended up being a philosophy that Ayn Rand promoted with her writing. It is the assumption that life is all up to the individual and that depending on others is a trick played by the domination system. Individualism is kind of a summation of the “survival of the fittest” interpretation of evolution meeting the “invisible hand” of capitalism. Much of evangelical Christianity adapted to individualism and made it seem like salvation happened in an individual’s heart according to their personal decision unrelated to others or to their actions in the world. So presidents say their faith is “very private.” And we sing songs like “You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley by yourself.”
Meanwhile, the Bible writers assume that God who is revealed as a family—Father and Son, God, who is by nature related in love, incorporates saved individuals into a family. We are, by nature, not alone. We are created in the image of God as interrelated and interdependent. We love each other. So John says that the one who lives in love, lives in God.
The world gets to see the alternative offered by Jesus when we, God’s family, are “like him” in this world. It is countercultural to live in a mutuality system, a family in the Spirit held together by love.
Suggestions for action
Pray: Make love complete in us so people can see Jesus.
Loving with self-giving love casts out fear. Reconsider how you are building an alternative society as Circle of Hope. What is your part? How do you love? What is God’s vision for the new community we have become?