Christmas is the celebration of the Incarnation of God—the eternal God becoming flesh, Who pitched His tent of flesh and tabernacled among us. Christ is the express image and fullness of God’s glory. Nothing more can be said about God than Christ. He interprets God completely! That is the incarnation!
I believe in reincarnation! It is simply this: God coming again in human flesh to reveal Himself to the world. God is doing it at an estimated rate of 74,000 daily, 10-16,000 daily in China alone! This is the great mystery—Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Jesus said that He would be in us as a witness so that the world would know Christ’s mission. The Church is filled with the fullness of God. We are the body of Christ. Christ is reincarnated in His Church! The Church is the visible representation of Christ on earth. What the world sees is Christ in His Church, both faltering and triumphant!
What does it mean to be incarnational? What does it mean that Christ is in you, that Christ is to be seen in you? What does it mean to “make Christ present in our world?” What does it mean that to see the Church is to see Christ? Here are some examples of what it means.
It is Jesus (through his Church) feeding the poor, helping the evacuees, sharing the message of the gospel, and being an overflow of the love of God after the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. It is His Church that is responding to the fullness of Christ within … in His name and for His glory. In this they follow the example of Jesus, Who not only preached but went about doing good (Acts 10:38).
It is Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Mercy being the hands and feet of Christ to the outcasts of society. It is Wim & Mariet Brandsma (friends of ours) working with lepers in a Nepal leprosarium. It is those who feed the hungry, bring freedom to the homosexual, nurse the sick, care for the elderly, and those who rescue the victims of child prostitution and slavery.
It is the ministry in Amsterdam (where at one time there were over 30,000 prostitutes) sharing Christ in word and deed. It is Teen Challenge in over 150 countries bringing the gospel of Christ and rescuing drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, and the oppressed of the world … restoring lives destroyed by the devil.
Christ incarnate is Amy Carmichael, who emancipated children from the corruption of temple service in India. These little girls were “married to the gods” during religious Hindu ceremonies and endured horrible abuse. She would often kidnap these little ones from the jaws of hell.
It is Bob Pierce, so deeply moved by the effects of the Korean War, who wrote in his Bible, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” He rescued unclaimed children who were eating out of trash cans and sleeping under cardboard. He founded World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. A friend said that his ministry was “as the spurting blood from Pierce’s broken heart.” His statement after visiting the Orient was, “The only measurement in assessing what we should be in the war was, ‘Is this something Jesus would do? Something God would want done?'”
It is Christ in Assemblies of God pioneer missionaries Harry and Helen Waggoner, who lived among the lepers of India and nearly died there. It is thousands who are being martyred every year as they follow Christ to the death of the cross. It is the many unknowns in this world, though well-known to God, who are loving and serving Christ in remote regions of the world. It is David Livingston, who, while establishing a mission station in Africa, was mauled by a lion.
It is H. B. Garlock, who took great risks in going to Liberia, a country then known as “the white man’s grave.” Once, surrounded by an angry tribe of cannibals, he was given permission by the witch doctor to speak. The Spirit gave him words to speak, and when he had finished the witch doctor asked forgiveness on behalf of the tribe for trying to harm him.
It is Heidi Williams, who served in the Home for the Dying with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. She gave her life in indescribable conditions, washing rubber sheets, cleaning, serving, and giving massages to the patients—some of whom weighed only 50 pounds, and some who had been there 25 years!
Williams writes, “Jesus waits for us to draw near to Him. It is so much easier to pass by. But then, what joy at the end of the time when the costume is pulled aside and we see Jesus in that drunken person we helped or in the street kid we reached out to.” She writes further: “[A]s wonderful as it is to bring the Kingdom of God to the hollow places of the earth, even this is rubbish compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus. Intimacy with Christ must be first. Without it, mission is empty and self-serving. … Without intimacy with Jesus, we have nothing to give away to others.”
Christ is reincarnated through His Church … the Life of Christ. When you hold the hand of the dying, comfort the sick, sit quietly in a waiting room after an operation, help the elderly and the depressed … when you sit with a drug addict going through withdrawals … when you share the gospel, give godly counsel to those distressed by broken homes and marriages … when you help the needy, clothe the naked, give a cup of cold water in His Name … when you feed the hungry and visit the prisoner … when you stand for truth and righteousness with the minority … when you weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice … when you witness of Christ, knock on doors, preach, heal and manifest His name … It is Christ IN you!
You are the incarnation of Christ when you pray in His name, pleading His cause for others. When you go around the world or to your next-door neighbor to preach the gospel, or share the love of God and witness of Christ at your job or school … whether you preach to crowds or to one (as Jesus did so many times) … when you are silent, but speak volumes with your life … it is Christ IN you! You are the incarnation of Christ!
Yes, this Christmas we celebrate Christ’s birth with joy! We also celebrate Christ Who has come to live His life in and through us, His Church … REINCARNATION!
Delighting in Him as Lord,
Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)