Dallas Willard: His incarnation model

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Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16

“So, the main cause of uneasiness in the hearts of many well-provided Christians today is that inadequate vision of the Kingdom of God that prevails in Christian circles and that produces anemic faith. But once, through adequate preaching and teaching, we vividly understand our relationship with the poor we will find there is much to be done and our anemic faith gets a healthy transfusion. Opportunities to serve people of impoverished and weakened conditions will come to us every day. The cup of cold water we’ll have always ready, for our vision of the Kingdom realities will make us much more sensitive to occasions to help and give. It may also lead us to make a point of discovering need, rather than always waiting for it to be thrust upon us… Remember, Jesus did not send help. He came among us. He was victorious under our conditions of existence. That makes all the difference. We continue on his incarnation model when we follow the apostle’s command to “associate with people of low position” by unassumingly walking with them in the path of their daily affairs, not just on special occasions created because of their need.”

Dallas Willard in The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives (New YorkL HarperCollins, 1988) 212-213.

As we draw near to Advent we start to envision a Messiah that comes to the poor. As Willard put it, “Jesus did not send help. He came among us.” Advent is the time we prepare for His coming. It begins on Sunday. We also realize our role to humble ourselves and to go to those who are in need. How will you do that this Advent and in the new year?

I must testify how an unnamed friend helped me yesterday. We had lunch and near the end he asked if I had any needs. I spoke of computer troubles. On the spot, he said, “Let’s go get you a computer.” I was stunned. We walked to the Apple store and he bought me a new computer. The best part, he said, “Don’t thank me, thank God.” See my post on Facebook.

This Advent the Lord has led me to go to Egypt to serve brothers and sisters there from 11-23 December 2018. God supplied an airline ticket, food, and lodging. Since I will spend about half of Advent there, the theme of my meditations this Advent will be: “Advent in Alexandria.” I will introduce you to early church fathers that God stationed there.

Where will you go this Advent? I urge you this Advent to “make a point of discovering need, rather than always waiting for it to be thrust upon us.” I will never forget how my friend helped meet my need. Let us leave our comfort zones, discern needs, and associate with people in need and serve them generously following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who did precisely that for us.